STATEMENT OF CHAIRMAN ROBERT PITOFSKY AND
IN THE MATTER OF
COLUMBIA/HCA HEALTHCARE CORP.,
FILE NO. 961-0013
We have voted to accept a $2.5 million civil penalty from Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. to settle charges that Columbia violated two Commission Orders by: (1) failing to divest in a timely manner two Utah Hospitals and its joint venture interest in South Seminole Hospital in Florida; and (2) violating a related Hold Separate Agreement governing assets it acquired in Utah as a result of its merger with Healthtrust, Inc. We write separately to express our strong concern about Columbias apparent reckless disregard for its obligations under the two Commission Orders at issue. As a result, we believe the Commission would have been well within its rights to demand an even higher civil penalty.
Accordingly, we will demand substantial civil penalties from companies that choose to ignore or otherwise willfully or recklessly violate their obligations under Commission Orders. We also impress upon companies that the Commission expects them to abide by their obligations under Commission Orders and that the Commission will enforce its Orders, including the filing of lawsuits where necessary to obtain appropriate civil penalties.