The U.S. Supreme Court last week denied ProMedica's request to review a ruling that found the Ohio health system's 2010 hospital acquisition violated antitrust laws. The defeat ended a nearly five-year battle with the Federal Trade Commission.
Toledo-based ProMedica said in a statement that the system and the facility it acquired, St. Luke's Hospital in Maumee, Ohio, will work together over the next six months to develop a detailed divestiture plan to submit to the FTC.
ProMedica had hoped the Supreme Court would hear the case and reject the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' conclusion that its merger with St. Luke's was anti-competitive.
The case attracted national attention from healthcare providers who are increasingly looking to expand and consolidate through mergers and acquisitions, which they say are necessary to deliver more coordinated care, improve quality and reduce costs as mandated under the Affordable Care Act.
Legal experts said it wasn't surprising the Supreme Court refused to hear the case, since it didn't present any new legal issues. But they also said the decision reinforces that providers looking to merge should be on alert for antitrust concerns.
In a separate announcement last week, ProMedica said it is planning the largest construction project in its history, a $350 million, 302-bed replacement tower on the shared campus of ProMedica Toledo Hospital and ProMedica Toledo Children's Hospital. The 13-story tower, which will replace a nearly 90-year-old facility, is expected to open in 2019.