Sponsored by VMG Health | info@vmghealth.com | 214.369.4888

LCMC notches early win in FTC merger fight

LCMC Health has secured an early win in its legal battle against the Federal Trade Commission after a federal judge in Washington, D.C., ruled that the case should be heard in a federal court in Louisiana, nola.com reported May 25. 

In April, LCMC and the FTC filed lawsuits in federal courts in Louisiana and the District of Columbia, respectively. Each side fought for the case to be heard in its own jurisdiction, with LCMC coming out on top. 

"There is a significant local interest in the state hospital merger approval process in Louisiana and how it bears on the enforcement of the antitrust laws with respect to hospital in the state," U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said in a May 23 ruling. 

The antitrust case centers around whether or not LCMC should have sought federal approval for its $150 million acquisition of three Louisiana hospitals from Nashville, Tenn.based HCA Healthcare in January. 

The FTC had ordered LCMC to halt the acquisition while it conducted a review, but the Louisiana legislature and state attorney general had "expressly and unequivocally authorized" the deal to go through, according to court documents obtained by Becker's.

Louisiana is one of about 20 states that gives the state the authority to greenlight hospital mergers under the certificate of public advantage process, according to nola.com. Because of this, LCMC argues in court documents that the acquisition is "indisputably immune" from federal antitrust laws.

"We wholeheartedly agree with the court's action to transfer this to Louisiana, and we support the decision that the merits of our partnership with Tulane University will be considered in our own community," LCMC said in a statement shared with Becker's. "We remain steadfast that the LCMC Health-Tulane University partnership is of significant benefit to our community and region, bringing another academic center of excellence to the region and enhancing patient care for all."

The lawsuit is drawing national attention because of its potential implications for hospital transactions across the country at a time when the FTC is taking a harder look at consolidation in healthcare.

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars