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FTC notches another antitrust win as HCA Healthcare, Steward Health Care call off 5-hospital sale

By Dave Muoio – Jun 17, 2022 

The Federal Trade Commission is two-for-two this month on hospital merger challenges, announcing Thursday that HCA Healthcare and Steward Health Care System have decided to abandon a proposed five-hospital transaction contested by the regulator earlier this month.

The news comes just days after New Jersey’s RWJBarnabas Health and Saint Peter’s Healthcare System threw in the towel on plans to merge. The FTC had announced plans to block both “anti-competitive” hospital deals on June 2.

 “For the second time in a week, parties who proposed an anti-competitive hospital merger have called their deal off after the FTC filed a complaint to block the deal,” FTC Bureau of Competition Director Holly Vedova said in a statement. “This transaction, like the RWJBarnabas Health/Saint Peter’s transaction that was abandoned two days ago, should never have been proposed in the first place.”

HCA and Steward’s deal, announced in September 2021, would have added five Utah hospitals to the former’s 11-hospital Mountain Division.

Had it gone through, the sale would have combined the second- and fourth-largest systems in the Salt Lake City and Utah’s Wasatch Front region, “resulting in higher prices, less innovation and lower quality care for patients,” Vedova said. Approximately 80% of Utah’s residents live in the markets that would have been impacted by the sale.


Chris J. Stewart

Chris currently serves as President and CEO of Surgio Health. Chris has close to 20 years of healthcare management experience, with an infinity to improve healthcare delivery through the development and implementation of innovative solutions that result in improved efficiencies, reduction of unnecessary financial & clinical variation, and help achieve better patient outcomes. Previously, Chris was assistant vice president and business unit leader for HPG/HCA. He has presented at numerous healthcare forums on topics that include disruptive innovation, physician engagement, shifting reimbursement models, cost per clinical episode and the future of supply chain delivery.

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