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Appeals court denies request to review FTC challenge of hospital merger

April 22, 2014

The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals today denied ProMedica’s request to review a Federal Trade Commission decision ordering it to divest an Ohio hospital that merged with the health system in 2010. “We are extremely disappointed by today’s decision and intend to appeal,” ProMedica said in a statement. “We are committed to exhausting all of our legal options. As we continue this legal journey, we would like to emphasize that St. Luke’s Hospital remains a member of ProMedica, continues to serve patients, and all health plans currently accepted at St. Luke’s will continue to be accepted.” In a friend-of-the-court brief filed in 2012, AHA urged the court to consider three trends that are changing the health care landscape – reimbursement reductions and changes, electronic health records and limited access to capital – as “proper indicators of future ability to compete” when determining whether, absent a merger, an acquired hospital can constitute a meaningful competitive force.