"Disappointed" Phoebe Putney Closely Examining Supreme Court Decision

Phoebe Putney Health System in Albany, Ga., said it is "disappointed" with the Supreme Court's ruling yesterday, in which justices unanimously agreed with the Federal Trade Commission and struck down Phoebe Putney's acquisition of Palmyra Medical Center in Albany, according to a Georgia Public Broadcasting report.

The high court decided that lower courts improperly dismissed antitrust complaints over Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital's $195 million acquisition of Palmyra Medical Center. The case centered around state action immunity, or whether states can execute hospital mergers and acquisitions despite FTC scrutiny if a state action doctrine gives local government entities power to acquire hospitals.

The court ruled that "because Georgia's grant of general corporate powers to hospital authorities does not include permission to use those powers anticompetitively, we hold that the clear-articulation test is not satisfied and state-action immunity does not apply."

Phoebe Putney released a statement, saying it is "studying the decision closely." Phoebe Putney wrote:

"We are disappointed because the lower court rulings were clear in the applicability of state action immunity in accordance with long-standing precedent. This does not alter our resolve or the commitment Phoebe has to meeting the growing needs of this community and the region we serve. We are continuing with our planning process to implement needed changes and to allocate resources properly to protect the safety and improve the health and wellness of our community."

More Articles on Hospitals and the FTC:

Supreme Court Sides with FTC in Phoebe Putney Case
Supreme Court Justices Raise Challenges to Both Sides in FTC v. Phoebe Putney Hearing
AHA Urges Supreme Court to Reject FTC's Challenge to Phoebe Putney Deal

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