Fresenius Medical Care Holding, et al v.Tucker, et al, No. 11-14192 (11th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs challenged Florida's "Patient Self-Referral Act of 1992" (the Florida Act), Fla. Stat. 456.053, which prohibited Florida physicians from referring their patients for services to business entities in which the referring physicians have a financial interest. The court concluded that the conflict preemption doctrine did not apply, and the exemptions in federal law allowing physicians serving end-stage renal disease patients to engage in self-referral did not preempt Florida's more restrict law prohibiting such conduct. The court also concluded that the Florida Act did not discriminate against interstate commerce, nor did it impose a burden on interstate commerce that was clearly excessive when compared with the law's putative local benefits. Therefore, the Florida Act did not violate the dormant Commerce Clause. Further, plaintiffs' substantive due process claim failed to survive rational basis scrutiny, and an equal protection claim would fail as well. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.