The healthcare industry in the U.S. is highly-regulated at the state and federal levels, and the balance between the two depends on what part of the industry you’re in. To illustrate—
- Health insurers are overseen by state insurance regulators, but the Affordable Care Act added a new layer of federal oversight. The current tussle between HHS and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners over what constitutes an accessible network of providers is a case in point.
- The 56,000 retail pharmacies are overseen by states, but drug manufacturers and distributors are overseen by the FDA and FTC, and the 3000 compounding pharmacies find themselves regulated by both.
- Physicians are primarily self-regulated by their state licensing and disciplinary boards, but federal rules that require transparency (Physician Sunshine Act) about their performance and prescribe limitations in their business dealings (Stark rules) take precedent.