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Mike Strazzella, head of the firm's Federal Government Relations Practice Group and healthcare industry group leader, provides his thoughts on the legality and impact of a rule proposed by the Trump administration to increase transparency of drug pricing in Bloomberg Law's article "Hospital Price Transparency Rule Draws Immediate Legal Threats."

Mike Strazzella, practice leader for federal government relations at Buchanan Ingersoll and Rooney in Washington, said he believes the hospital rule would violate federal antitrust law and lead to anticompetitive behavior by allowing negotiations between insurers and hospitals to be based on competitors’ prices rather than the individual needs of the participants.

He expects a long legal battle that could extend into 2021 when the rule is slated to take effect. Hospitals will likely seek an injunction to stop the rule in case the court battle drags on, he said.

“Even though some people might say, ‘well there’s time for the courts to figure this out,’ there’s not. Because hospitals will have to expend the energy of trying to determine whether they should be implementing and preparing for this,” Strazzella said.

The administrative burden is just “going to be horrendous,” he added, because the cost of services change frequently. “I think this is going to be very difficult to implement, even outside of the legal challenges.”