Federal Trade Commission And Competitors Successfully Challenge Hospital’s Acquisition Of Physician Practice

In This Issue:

- What Providers Should Know

- Background

- Ruling

- Excerpt from What Providers Should Know:

A federal judge recently ordered a hospital system to unwind its year-old acquisition of an independent physician practice, which created a “dominant provider” with “80% of the primary care physicians” in Nampa, Idaho. This is the first time the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has successfully challenged a physician practice acquisition in federal court. The ruling reminds us that the FTC will challenge a health care transaction that it views as anticompetitive, even if the transaction does not involve a hospital merger, is not reportable under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, and has already closed. It also reminds us that even a transaction that lowers costs and increases quality of care may nonetheless violate the antitrust laws if it reduces competion and increases prices. The decision is Saint Alphonsus Medical Center – Nampa, Inc. v. St. Luke’s Health System, Ltd., 1:12-CV-00560-BLW, 2014 WL 40446 (D. Idaho 2014).

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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