Dickinson Wright Member James M. Burns Provides Comments to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Regarding Pennsylvania's Novel "Any Willing Insurer" Bill

January 2, 2014
Dickinson Wright Member James M. Burns, co-leader of the firm’s antitrust practice, recently provided his insights on proposed new legislation in Pennsylvania for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. In an article entitled “Feds might object to any state law forcing a insurer, hospital into contract”, he opined that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission might well take a dim view of recently proposed legislation in Pennsylvania (House Bills 1621 and 1622) that would require health care providers to contract with all health insurers that desire to contract with them.

The proposed legislation, being commonly referred to as “Any Willing Insurer” legislation, was introduced in late 2013, and would require all integrated health systems in the state to contract with every health insurance company that desires to contract with them. The Pennsylvania legislation is the first of its kind in the country, although numerous states have “Any Willing Provider” statutes requiring insurers to contract with all healthcare providers. In December, the Pennsylvania House Health Committee heard testimony on the legislation, with the bill’s sponsors (Rep. Jim Christiana, R-Beaver, and Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Squirrel Hill) claiming that the legislation is essential to ensure that consumers are not limited in their choices for healthcare services merely because a provider and an insurance carrier cannot reach an agreement on “in-network” reimbursement rates.

Noting that several states have “Any Willing Provider” laws, Mr. Burns stated that the proposed legislation “would essentially turn the country’s various state-level, Any-Willing-Provider laws on their heads,” but was conceptually no different than those laws. Mr. Burns also noted that the FTC has traditionally taken a dim view of [Any Willing Provider laws], and thus it can be expected that the FTC would similarly take a dim view of a requirement that [providers] would have to contract with “any and all insurers” as well.

To read the full article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, please click here.

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