Yakima Valley Memorial Hosp. v. WA Dept. of Health, et al., No. 10-35497 (9th Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
This case arose when the Washington State Department of Health (Department) would not license Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital (Memorial) to perform certain procedures known as elective percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) where, according to the Department, the community Memorial served did not need another PCI provider. The district court held that Memorial failed to state a claim of antitrust preemption, holding that the PCI regulations were a unilateral restraint on trade not barred by the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. 1-7. With regard to Memorial's claims under the dormant Commerce Clause, the district court found Memorial had standing because it alleged it would participate in an interstate market for PCI patients, doctors, and supplies. Nevertheless, the district court found that any burden on Memorial's interstate commercial activity was expressly authorized by Congress' approval of certificate of need regimes, making a dormant Commerce Clause violation impossible. The court agreed that Memorial failed to state a claim of antitrust preemption because the PCI regulations were a unilateral licensing requirement rather than an agreement in restraint of trade. The court also agreed that Memorial had standing under the dormant Commerce Clause, but reversed the district court's judgment on that claim because the Department failed to prove congressional authorization for the PCI regulations.