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Health First acquires cancer center despite pending antitrust lawsuit

A unit of Rockledge, Fla.-based Health First has completed its acquisition of Space Coast Cancer Center — which operates three Brevard County locations — despite a pending antitrust lawsuit filed by Titusville, Fla.-based Parrish Medical Center claiming Health First is trying to monopolize the local cancer care market.

In its lawsuit, Parrish alleges the acquisition will result in Health First employing two of the three radiation oncologists and six of the nine medical oncologists practicing in north Brevard County.

"After the closing of the acquisition, then, there is a dangerously high probability that [Health First] will have a monopoly of the markets for medical oncology physician services and radiation oncology physician services in north Brevard County," the complaint states.

However, the lawsuit didn't keep the deal from being finalized. Under its new ownership, Space Coast will be renamed Health First Cancer Institute. Space Coast founder and President Richard Levine, MD, said he expects all the physicians from Space Coast to become part of Health First Cancer Institute, according to a Florida Today report.

"Health First developed a strategic plan so that Space Coast Cancer Center would complement their strategy," Dr. Levine said. "It's a win-win. I believe cancer patients, caregivers and family members will benefit."

More articles on Health First:

Florida hospital hits Health First with antitrust lawsuit for trying to monopolize cancer care market
Health First names Alex Popowycz first CIO
5 healthcare antitrust cases to watch in 2015

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