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The End of Non-Competes? The Impact It Will Have on the Healthcare Industry

Client Alert

A. Overview

On January 5, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced a proposed rule that, if enacted, will ban employers from entering into non-compete clauses with workers (the “Rule”), and the Rule would void existing non-compete agreements. In their Notice, the FTC stated that if the Rule were to go into effect, they estimate the overall earnings of employees in the United States could increase by $250 billion to $296 billion per year.[1] The Rule would also require employers to rescind non-competes that they had already entered into with their workers.[2] For purposes of the Rule, the FTC has defined “worker” to also include any employees, interns, volunteers, and contractors.”[3]

B. Providers

This proposed Rule would have a profound effect on the healthcare industry, as many providers, such as physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants have entered into non-competes with their employers, restricting them from working within a certain proximity to their previous employers, usually for a set amount of time following their employment. The rule would also rescind this restrictive covenant that many providers have already entered into with their employers.

While the rule would undoubtedly benefit providers, and even potentially patients, by not restricting where providers can practice, the rule may present difficulties to health systems, including hospitals and clinics, particularly in areas where it is a struggle to find and/or retain healthcare workers, particularly physicians.[4]

The FTC has asked the public to submit comments on the Rule, which will be due sixty (60) days after the Rule is published in the Federal Register.[5]

C. Other Employers

BMD’s employment attorney, Bryan Meek, will be publishing a new podcast episode on his YouTube channel, Employment Law After Hours, during the week of January 9th further discussing these proposed FTC rules and the possible implications on the industry.

If you have any questions regarding this proposed rule or would like to discuss submitting a public comment to the FTC regarding this proposal, please do not hesitate to contact:

[1] Federal Trade Commission, Non-Compete Clause Rulemaking, (Jan. 5, 2023).

[2] Id.

[3] Id.

[4] Association of American Medical Colleges, “New AAMC Report Confirms Growing Physician Shortage,” (June 26, 2020).

[5] Non-Compete Rulemaking.

Telehealth Flexibility Updates: HIPAA, DEA, and CMS

The Covid-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) officially ended on May 11, 2023. But what does that mean for telehealth, a field that expanded exponentially during the PHE? Fortunately, many of the flexibilities will remain intact, at least temporarily. This client alert presents a brief overview of the timelines that providers need to follow, but for a more comprehensive review of telehealth flexibilities and when they will end

WEBINAR SERIES RECAP | Ending the Public Health Emergency + Post-Pandemic Check-Up

Some may take the position that the rest of the country already returned to a new “normal” following the COVID-19 pandemic.  But healthcare providers continue to implement COVID protocols and navigate the ever-changing healthcare regulations at both the federal and state levels.  It is important for healthcare providers to take time for a “Healthcare Check-Up” with the start of 2023 and the ending of the Public Health Emergency (“PHE”).

Sharp Rise in False Claims Act Cases - Navigating the FCA Waters

Recently, on April 18, 2023, the United States Supreme Court heard arguments regarding the FCA’s scienter, or mental state, requirement. To prove violation of the FCA, the statute requires that a defendant “knowingly” file false claims for payment. The term “knowingly” is defined within the statute to mean a person that acts with actual knowledge, deliberate ignorance, or reckless disregard. Circuit courts are split on how to interpret and apply the knowledge element of the FCA, and based on the Supreme Court’s decision, there will be a large impact on healthcare defendants and their businesses as well as anyone who contracts with, or receives money from, a federal program. A broader interpretation of the FCA would unnecessarily target and stifle healthcare, and other businesses, for simple errors in daily operations. This goes against the intended application of the FCA, which was to prevent fraudulent activity.

Areas of Opportunity in Columbus: Highlights from the Columbus Opportunity Summit

On April 27, 2023 Columbus Business First held its annual Columbus Opportunity Summit, bringing together business and economic development leaders to provide an update on how Central Ohio is preparing for expected growth in the coming years, an issue heightened by the arrival of Intel at its 1,000 acre site in Licking County, just outside of Columbus. The site will be home to two new chip factories with room to grow to a total of eight factories and is a $20 Billion investment.

BREAKING: Biden Administration Has Officially Ended the Two Remaining COVID Vaccine Mandates

As of May 1, 2023, the Biden Administration has officially ended the two remaining COVID vaccine mandates: (1) the Federal Contractor Mandate, and (2) the CMS Healthcare Provider Vaccine Mandate.