The Federal Trade Commission is currently accepting public comments on ProMedica Health Systems’ application to divest St. Luke’s Hospital. The divestiture is required by the Commission’s final order issued in connection with the Commission’s ruling that ProMedica’s acquisition of former rival St. Luke’s was likely to substantially lessen competition and increase prices for general acute-care inpatient hospital services and inpatient obstetric services sold to commercial health plans in Lucas County, Ohio. The ruling was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and the Supreme Court declined to review that decision.
The final order requires ProMedica to divest St. Luke’s, and to ensure its operation as an independent, standalone community hospital, and an effective competitor for general acute-care inpatient hospital and obstetric services in the Toledo, Ohio area. According to the application, ProMedica will provide transitional administrative, clinical, and IT services to St. Luke’s.
The Commission will decide whether to approve the proposed divestiture after expiration of a 30-day public comment period, beginning today and continuing through June 2, 2016. Comments can be filed electronically or in paper form by following the instructions in the “Supplementary Information” section of the Federal Register notice. (FTC File No. 101 0167, Docket No. 9346; the staff contact is Anne R. Schenof, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2031)
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