Illinois Hospital Merger Grinds To Halt After FTC Antitrust Challenge
The hospital chains and the Federal Trade Commission agreed to a temporary restraining order, but the commission is still seeking an injunction so it can fully examine the proposed deal. Media outlets also report on hospital developments in Kansas and New Jersey.
The Chicago Tribune:
Restraining Order Puts Advocate, NorthShore Merger On Hold
Advocate Health Care and NorthShore University Health System have put their merger on hold, after the Federal Trade Commission challenged the deal on antitrust grounds, court documents show. The FTC and the hospital chains agreed to a temporary restraining order to stop the merger, which a federal judge approved Tuesday. Without the restraining order, the hospital chains could have consummated their merger as early as Friday. (Sachdev, 12/23)
The Associated Press:
Feds Accuse Osawatomie State Hospital Of 'Systemic Failure'
A Kansas mental hospital that lost federal funding failed to supervise care, perform safety checks and protect suicidal patients, inspectors said. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services report cited a rape at the Osawatomie State Hospital in October as an example of the problems that prompted the federal government to cut off funding Monday. Kansas now has to pay for care at the facility, which is one of only two of its kind in the state. (12/23)
The Philadelphia Inquirer:
Judge: Law Switching EMS To Cooper In Camden Is Unconstitutional
A New Jersey judge ruled Tuesday that a law that allowed Cooper University Hospital to take over emergency medical services in Camden from rival Virtua Health was unconstitutional. Superior Court Judge Douglas H. Hurd, ruling orally from the bench in Trenton, ordered the Christie administration not to implement the law. Hurd did not issue a written decision. (Seidman, 12/23)
In other hospital news, a study spotlights the real cost of monopolies and mergers —
The Denver Post:
Grand Junction Is Among The Most Expensive Places For Hospital Stay
Privately insured hospital patients in Grand Junction face the ninth-highest average inpatient prices in the country, according to a new study. The results are surprising because President Barack Obama held up the Western Slope city as a model health care market in 2009 because of its low Medicare costs. But those familiar with Grand Junction's health care environment have known for years that costs for the privately insured — as opposed to those in the federally funded program for seniors — are high. (Olinger, 12/22)