FTC's noncompete ban may favor hospitals, hurt ASCs

ASCA is opposed to the Federal Trade Commission's "Non-Compete Clause Rule," which will ban noncompete agreements Sept. 4, according to an article written in ASC Focus.

The association, which represents ASCs across the U.S., submitted a comment to the FTC opposing the final rule, stating "surgery centers and other tax-paying healthcare providers would be subject to restrictions that tax-exempt systems would not."

The comment further noted the final rule allows nonprofit hospitals to "more aggressively engage in noncompetitive behavior" and possibly interfere with the physician's ability to leave the hospital and join an ASC. For-profit businesses are subject to the noncompete ban while charitable businesses may not be; the FTC will decide as much on a case-by-case basis.

ASCA isn't the only healthcare association opposed to the final rule; the American Hospital Association and Federation of American Hospitals also made public statements against implementation. However, the American Academy of Family Physicians supports the final rule and the American Medical Association hasn't chosen sides.

ASCA expects legal challenges to the final rule and will "monitor the progress of lawsuits."

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