The Federal Trade Commission appears satisfied with the impact that a proposed $620 million merger with the University of Louisville Hospital and two subsidiaries of Catholic Health Initiatives would have on competition within Kentucky's healthcare market.
FTC lets Ky. merger plan proceed
“Given this development, the timeline for closing the transaction could be sooner than we had initially planned,” CHI said in an e-mailed statement.
The FTC declined to submit inquiries to hospital officials regarding how the deal could affect the competitive landscape of healthcare in the area. The commission's 30-day window for such challenges expired Aug. 25, said St. Joseph Health System spokesman Jeffrey Murphy.
The lack of action means the FTC will not attempt to block the proposal, which would combine the 329-bed University of Louisville Hospital with CHI's 462-bed Jewish Hospital & St. Mary's Healthcare in Louisville, Ky., and St. Joseph Health System in Lexington, Ky.
The deal still needs approval at the federal and state levels, as well as from the Roman Catholic Church. The agreement would combine the three into a yet-to-be named, tax-exempt health system that would adhere to the tenets of the church, including restrictions on reproduction services for women and end-of-life planning. University of Louisville Hospital officials this week announced its staff would move some reproductive services after the merger to Baptist Hospital East in Louisville.
Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway continues his scrutiny of the deal, which his office called precedent-setting with nationwide impact. His office continues its review, concerned that the University of Louisville Hospital receives taxpayer support and lies on state-owned land. There's no timeframe from when Conway's office would complete its “lengthy” review, spokeswoman Allison Gardner Martin added.
Denver-based CHI plans on sinking $320 million in working capital into the deal, as well as $200 million for building improvements and an additional $100 million for statewide services.
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.