Biden's order won't derail Piedmont deal, University Health CEO says

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A new executive order that targets healthcare consolidation won't derail a proposed merger with Piedmont Healthcare, Jim Davis, CEO of University Health Care System, told The Augusta Chronicle in a July 27 report.

In May, University Health, a three-hospital system based in Augusta, Ga., signed a letter of intent to join Atlanta-based Piedmont. Hospital officials expect the deal to close before the end of the year, pending regulatory approval. 

President Joe Biden signed an executive order July 9 that addresses competition among hospitals and calls on the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission to review and revise their guidelines on hospital mergers. Mr. Davis told the Chronicle that "we don't see any issue" when it comes to competition with the merger and that "there's no antitrust impact at all."

The comments come as groups like National Nurses United claim that Piedmont's recent bids for 11 hospitals "give it monopoly power over healthcare delivery" in its Atlanta headquarters. The union claimed Piedmont's University Health deal would give it 49 percent of the market share in Augusta. 

Mr. Davis said the deal likely will be ready for the Georgia attorney general's office to review by the end of August. The health systems also are readying filings for the FTC and Department of Justice. 

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