The US Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced the indictment by a grand jury charging four owners/managers of home health care agencies in Maine with participating in a conspiracy to suppress wages and restrict the job mobility of personal support specialist (PSS) workers in violation of Section 1 of the federal Sherman Act. According to the indictment, the owners/managers agreed to fix the rates paid to these workers and also agreed not to hire each other’s workers. The DOJ warned in a press release that “[t]his indictment is the first in this ongoing investigation into wage fixing and worker allocation schemes in the PSS industry,” and part of a larger “ongoing federal antitrust investigation into wage fixing and worker allocation in the home health care industry.”
Continue Reading Alleged “No-Poach” Agreement in Health Care Industry Results in Another Criminal Antitrust Prosecution

A recent Ninth Circuit ruling in a dispute between two health care staffing agencies clarifies that non-solicitation provisions in business-to-business collaboration agreements are not per se violations of the Sherman Act. Aya Healthcare Services, Inc. v. AMN Healthcare, Inc. No. 20-55679, 2021 WL 3671384 (9th Cir. Aug. 19, 2021).

Background and District Court Proceedings

When hospitals and other health care facilities have nursing shortages, travel nurses provide a temporary solution. Health care facilities often turn to staffing agencies to recruit nurses for these assignments.
Continue Reading Collaborate Away: Ninth Circuit Rules that Non-Solicitation Provisions in Collaboration Agreements Are Not Per Se Violations of Federal Antitrust Law