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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, https://www.ftc.gov/legal-library/browse/federal-register-notices/non-compete-clause-rulemaking (Jan. 5, 2023).

[2] Id.

[3] Id.

[4] Association of American Medical Colleges, “New AAMC Report Confirms Growing Physician Shortage,” https://www.aamc.org/news-insights/press-releases/new-aamc-report-confirms-growing-physician-shortage (June 26, 2020).

[5] Non-Compete Rulemaking.

Valley National Bank/Trulieve Loan: A Big Step Out of the Shadows

In a late December press release, Trulieve announced that it had secured a $71.5 million commercial bank loan. In addition to the amount of the loan, which may be the largest commercial bank loan to date to a cannabis company, the release prominently identified Valley Bank and featured both a quote from Valley’s Senior Vice President, John Myers, and a description of the Bank’s service platform and commitment to the cannabis industry.

2022 Healthcare Recap and 2023 Healthcare Check-Up

As the country begins to return to a new “normal” following the COVID-19 pandemic, there are many healthcare rules changing on both the federal and state levels as a result. Thus, it is important for healthcare providers and their employers to be aware of these changing rules, and any implications they may have on their practice. Look back on healthcare in 2022 and find a checklist for 2023.

Direct Support Professional Retention Payments

On December 15, the Ohio Senate and House passed House Bill 45, which authorizes the Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD), in conjunction with the county boards of developmental disabilities, to launch their initiative to issue retention payments to Direct Support Professionals (DSPs). These retention payments will be distributed quarterly to participating home and community-based waiver providers to address the workforce crisis in the direct provider sector. Governor DeWine needs to sign the Bill to begin the payments, but he is expected to do so by the end of 2022.

Real Estate Investors Position for 2023 Opportunities

Real estate investors weathered another year in a post-pandemic world, with the year closing with yet another interest rate increase coupled with both uncertainty and heightened interest carrying into 2023. Just last Wednesday, the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate 0.50 percentage points, shifting the target range to 4.25% to 4.50%. The new level is the highest the fed funds rate has been since December 2007 and marks the seventh rate hike this year. So what does this mean to investors, brokers, lenders, and others in the real estate world? Read a few perspectives below from stakeholders familiar with our BMD clients and the markets in which they do business.

Five Major Trends for Employers to Watch Out For in 2023

Five Major Trends for Employers to Watch Out For in 2023: Major changes may be on the horizon for noncompete clauses. The EEOC is gearing up to file more discrimination lawsuits against employers. The Department of Labor is poised to raise the salary threshold for exempt employees under the FLSA. Unionization momentum may slow in 2023. ESG is the new norm to attract and retain talent.