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United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
December 8, 2020, Decided; December 8, 2020, Filed
CIVIL ACTION NO. 20-01113
[*527] PAPPERT, J.
The Federal Trade Commission and Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, collectively the Government, seek to preliminarily enjoin a proposed merger between Thomas Jefferson University and the Albert Einstein Healthcare Network pending an administrative determination of whether the combination violates Section 7 of the Clayton Act.
The parties conducted extensive discovery and the Court [**3] held six days of evidentiary hearings which included the testimony of twenty witnesses and the presentation of voluminous documentary evidence. The Court also received from the parties and reviewed additional documents, declarations, deposition transcripts and other materials. Following the hearings, the parties submitted proposed [*528] findings of fact and conclusions of law and the Court allowed the parties several hours of oral argument.
] To obtain the relief it seeks, the Government must define a relevant geographic market—that area where potential buyers look for the goods or services they want—within which the likely competitive effects of the merger can be evaluated. That market's definition is dependent on the special characteristics of the industry involved and the Court is required to take a pragmatic and factual approach in determining whether the Government has done it correctly. Of greatest importance to this case, the market's geographic scope must "correspond to the commercial realities of the industry at issue." The healthcare industry's market is represented by a "two-stage model of competition." In the first stage, hospitals compete to be included in an insurer's hospital [**4] network. In the second, hospitals compete to attract individual members of the insurers' plans.
This means that insurers, not patients seeking and receiving medical care, are the payors—those who will most directly feel the impact of the increased price of care. This is what the Third Circuit Court of Appeals has called the "commercial reality" of the uniquely structured healthcare industry. Patients are not irrelevant to a hospital system merger analysis; their choices and behavior can affect the bargaining leverage that hospitals and insurers possess when they negotiate hospitals' inclusion in insurers' networks and the reimbursement rates insurers agree to pay hospitals. But as the entities bearing the immediate impact of the cost of medical care, the insurers' perspective is extremely important in deciding whether a merger will substantially lessen the competition for healthcare in a proposed geographic market.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
505 F. Supp. 3d 522 *; 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 229735 **; 2020-2 Trade Cas. (CCH) P81,469; 2020 WL 7227250
FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION, et al., Plaintiffs, v. THOMAS JEFFERSON UNIVERSITY, et al., Defendants.
Prior History: FTC v. Thomas Jefferson Univ., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98867, 2020 WL 3034809 (E.D. Pa., June 5, 2020)
insurers, network, patient, merger, geographic, inpatient, provider, markets, rehabilitation services, Acute, percent, rehabilitation, diversion, Rehab, health system, ratios, increased price, healthcare, southeastern, negotiations, candidate, region, beds, health plan, competitors, largest, merging, commercial reality, relevant market, Northern
Antitrust & Trade Law, Market Definition, Relevant Market, Geographic Market Definition, Healthcare Law, Healthcare Litigation, Antitrust Actions, Facilities, Mergers & Acquisitions Law, Antitrust, Market Definition, Product Market Definition, Actions Against Facilities, Standards of Care, Hospitals, Clayton Act, Claims, Antitrust Statutes, Clayton Act, Scope, Horizontal Mergers, Sherman Act, Scope, Monopolization Offenses, Federal Trade Commission Act, Remedies, Injunctions, Per Se Rule & Rule of Reason, Per Se Rule Tests, Manifestly Anticompetitive Effects, Civil Procedure, Injunctions, Grounds for Injunctions, Likelihood of Success, Preliminary & Temporary Injunctions, Private Actions, Standing, Defenses, Evidence, Weight & Sufficiency, Damages, Penalties