AMA Seeks Relief from FTC Overreach into State Regulation of Health Professionals
For immediate release:
May 17, 2012
Chicago – The American Medical Association (AMA) filed a brief today in a U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond, VA reasserting the need for state regulatory boards to be the ultimate authority on professional licensure, patient safety and the practice of medicine.
The brief prepared by the Litigation Center of the AMA and State Medical Societies challenges the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) antitrust enforcement action against a state licensing board for attempting to fulfill its statutory mandate to regulate public health and safety. The AMA urges the court to intercede to prevent the FTC from infringing on states' powers and undermining public health.
Safeguarding public health and patient safety are the primary purposes of the state statutes authorizing licensing boards to regulate health care professionals, said AMA President Peter W. Carmel, M.D.
It is crucial that licensing boards carry out the responsibilities assigned to them by state legislatures without being intimidated by federal overreach from the FTC.
The AMA argues that the decisions of state licensing boards meet exemption criteria from federal antitrust challenges under the "state action doctrine" created by the U.S. Supreme Court. The FTC lacks the necessary expertise to be the final arbiter of health care licensing decisions and matters of public safety. The AMA maintains that these judgments must continue to be made by state boards and legislatures with the strong input from local health care professionals.
For more information on the AMA's engagement with the FTC, including a link to the AMA's white paper on antitrust exemptions for state licensing board actions, please visit www.ama-assn.org/go/ftc-state.
AMA Media Relations