The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has subpoenaed members of the House Ways and Means Committee, as well as Brian Sutter, their healthcare subcommittee staff director. U.S. District Judge, Paul Gardephe, has granted the house committee and subcommittee and extension until July 4th to respond to the SEC accusations.
According to a recent Reuters article, the SEC is “seeking information related to a probe into whether Sutter leaked material nonpublic information about Medicare reimbursement rates to Mark Hayes, a lobbyist at Greenberg Traurig LLC.”
The SEC believes that Mark Hayes and Brian Sutter had communication on the day the “Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced reimbursement rates for the Medicare Advantage program. The regulator says Hayes then emailed the brokerage firm Height Securities, which shortly afterwards sent its clients a ‘flash alert’ suggesting the deal could help insurance companies such as Humana Inc. and Health Net Inc.”
Some believe that the United States Constitution protects the House committee from being required to comply with the investigation. In any case, it is important for physicians to be aware of the laws regarding insider trading and information sharing moving forward.