The Federal Trade Commission has granted the request of Healthtrust, Inc. - The Hospital Company to sell four of the acute care hospitals it operates in the Salt Lake City-Ogden, Utah, metropolitan area to Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corporation. The sales will occur as part of Healthtrust's merger with Columbia/HCA, which involves numerous additional hospitals throughout the United States. As a condition of the FTC's approval, after acquiring the four Healthtrust hospitals, Columbia/HCA will divest three hospitals in the area -- two of which are among the four it will acquire from Healthtrust, and the third currently is operated by Columbia/HCA -- to remedy the lessening of competition that would be caused by the sale. This condition is a part of a proposed settlement of FTC allegations in connection with the Columbia/HCA merger with Healthtrust. (See related news release, issued today.)
The Healthtrust hospitals to be sold to Columbia/HCA are: Pioneer Valley Hospital, located in West Valley City, Salt Lake County; Jordan Valley Hospital, in West Jordan, Salt Lake County; Lakeview Hospital, located in Bountiful, Davis County; and Ogden Regional Medical Center (formerly St. Benedicts Hospital), in Ogden, Weber County. Pioneer and Jordan are the two Healthtrust hospitals that Columbia/HCA will then divest under the proposed settlement mentioned above, along with the Davis Hospital and Medical Center it operates in Layton. The divestitures would have to be made within nine months to Commission-approved acquirers. In the interim, Columbia/HCA must hold all the Utah Healthtrust hospitals separate and apart from its own business.
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Healthtrust/Salt Lake City--04/21/95)
Prior FTC approval of the sale of the Utah Healthtrust hospitals was required under a 1994 consent order that settled FTC antitrust allegations regarding Healthtrust's acquisition of three Utah hospitals from Holy Cross Health Services of Utah. The FTC had alleged in that case that the transaction would significantly lessen competition for inpatient acute-care hospital services in three counties in the Salt Lake City-Ogden metropolitan area. Among other conditions, the 1994 consent order requires Healthtrust, for 10 years, to obtain FTC approval before selling any acute-care hospital in Weber, Davis, or Salt Lake counties to an entity that operates another acute-care hospital in the area. Columbia/HCA currently owns two hospitals in the area -- Davis Hospital and Medical Center, and St. Mark's Hospital in Salt Lake City -- so Healthtrust was required to seek FTC approval to sell the hospitals to Columbia/HCA.
Healthtrust and Columbia/HCA are based in Nashville, Tennessee.
The Commission vote to approve the divestitures was 5-0.
Copies of the HealthTrust application and the Commission's response, the 1994 consent order, and the news release and documents associated with the settlement of the Columbia/HCA merger with Healthtrust are available from the FTC's Public Reference Branch, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.,Washington, D.C. 20580.
(FTC Docket No. C-3538)