As the Biden administration continues to step up oversight of healthcare mergers, the Federal Trade Commission with the Department of Justice released new merger guidelines, vowing to review healthcare mergers on a case-by-case basis with greater scrutiny of potential antitrust violations.
The FTC is proposing that more healthcare deals be subject to the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, giving the agency additional time to review transactions and requiring substantially more disclosure from the parties to a proposed merger.
HCA’s deal to sell three hospitals in Louisiana to LCMC Health is already being challenged. Earlier this year, the FTC threatened to fine HCA and LCMC for failing to notify the commission of their merger plans. A lawsuit and countersuit followed. In June, the FTC asked the court to put the transaction on hold so that the agency could investigate the merger’s effects on competition. Read more
These new rules could hamper future expansions by HCA, including their possible acquisition of Wise Health in the Dallas area. And the 2019 HCA-Mission merger continues to come under fire with allegations from local residents and elected leaders that the deal allowed HCA’s Mission Health to monopolize the healthcare market in Asheville, NC, harming patients and communities. More on the recent lawsuit against Mission.