The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is increasing its antitrust examination of state medical board and state legislative actions, particularly those concerning scope of practice. The FTC has submitted letters to the Alabama state medical board and to state legislators (FL, KY, LA, MO, TN, and TX), commenting on bills to regulate providers of interventional pain management procedures and bills and proposed regulations to expand nursing scope of practice. The FTC’s activity has also taken the form of an enforcement action against the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners, which is on appeal in the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

The AASM is monitoring and working with the American Medical Association (AMA) who has engaged a multi-pronged strategy to defend the work of the Medical Boards and the States.  The AMA has held a series of meetings with FTC Commissioners and senior staff to urge them to reexamine the FTC’s ability to advocate on the complex medical issues involved in state scope of practice activities and medical licensure. The AMA will also engage in the courts through an amicus brief in the North Carolina dental board case.

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