7 noncompete ban updates for spine leaders


At the end of April, the Federal Trade Commission took steps to ban noncompete clauses for most U.S. workers. Since then, the ban has faced challenges from a number of organizations and feedback from surgeons nationwide. As it stands, the rule is set to take effect for healthcare providers June 1, 2025.

Here are seven noncompete ban updates for spine leaders to know: 

1. The Ambulatory Surgery Center Association, which represents ASCs across the country, has opposed the "Non-Compete Clause Rule." The group submitted a comment to the FTC opposing the final rule, saying "surgery centers and other tax-paying healthcare providers would be subject to restrictions that tax-exempt systems would not." The comment further noted the final rule allows nonprofit hospitals to "more aggressively engage in noncompetitive behavior" and possibly interfere with the physician's ability to leave the hospital and join an ASC. The American Hospital Association and Federation of American Hospitals have also made public statements against implementation. 

2. While the FTC's new rule would make it illegal to include noncompetes in employment contracts, nonprofit employers are exempt from the decision. The FTC's jurisdiction does not generally cover tax-exempt organizations. 

3. Maryland Gov. Wes Moore signed a law prohibiting noncompetes for healthcare professionals April 25, the same day the FTC banned noncompete clauses for most U.S. workers. 

4. Kristopher Schroeder, MD, anesthesiologist and professor at Madison-based University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, told Becker's the FTC's ban may boost hospital physician pay. 

5. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has sued the FTC, arguing that the agency  is overstepping its authority by completely banning noncompetes. The Chamber of Commerce was joined in its lawsuit by three other business groups: the Business Roundtable, the Texas Association of Business and the Longview Chamber of Commerce. A tax services firm in Dallas is also suing the FTC, raising similar concerns to the chamber.

6. Eight healthcare leaders and physicians reacted to the ban, expressing emotions ranging from support to frustration. 

7. Spine and orthopedic surgeons also reacted to the ban, calling it a "total game changer" for the industry.

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