FTC Seeks Public Comment on Universal Health Services, Inc.'s Application to Divest the Peak Behavioral Health Assets to Strategic Behavioral Health, LLC

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The Federal Trade Commission is seeking public comment on an application by Alan B. Miller and the hospital management company Universal Health Services, Inc. to sell an acute inpatient psychiatric facility in the El Paso, Texas/Santa Teresa, New Mexico area to Strategic Behavioral Health, LLC (SBH).  The divestiture of the facility, called Peak Behavioral Health Assets, is required by the FTC’s October 2012 consent order which put conditions on UHS’s proposed acquisition of Ascend Health Corporation.  Under that order, UHS was required to sell the Peak Behavioral Health Assets to an acquirer approved by the Commission.

According to the application, the proposed divestiture would accomplish the purpose of the FTC’s final decision and order by ensuring the continuation of the Peak Assets as an ongoing, viable acute psychiatric hospital facility, and by remedying the lessening of competition that resulted from UHS’s acquisition of Ascend.  UHS contends that SBH has the financial, professional, and operational resources to be a strong competitor for the provision of acute inpatient psychiatric services in the El Paso/Santa Teresa market.

The Commission will decide whether to approve the application after the expiration of the public comment period.  Public comments may be submitted until April 29, 2013.  Written comments should be sent to:  FTC Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20580.  Comments also can be filed electronically.  Copies of the application also can be found on the FTC’s website and as a link to this press release.  (FTC Docket No. C-4372; the staff contact is Elizabeth Piotrowski, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2623; see press release dated October 5, 2012.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC's online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.  Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

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