New Jersey judge puts RWJBarnabas Health hospital acquisition on hold

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Dive Temporary:

  • RWJBarnabas Health’s proposed offer to acquire Saint Peter’s Health care Method has been place on hold following a momentary restraining order issued by a federal decide in New Jersey this 7 days.                 
  • The two New Jersey suppliers are not able to progress with the offer until eventually 10 days immediately after a ruling on a preliminary injunction or until finally a day established by the courtroom, whichever is afterwards, in accordance to the Monday get signed by Choose John Michael Vazquez.  
  • Devoid of the restraining buy, the two programs would have been in a position to shift ahead with the offer immediately after Thursday, the purchase describes.      

Dive Insight:

The Federal Trade Fee has secured two non permanent restraining orders this 7 days, placing a pause on two different healthcare acquisitions in Utah and New Jersey. 

The agency is new off two victories: Rhode Island’s two biggest health and fitness systems scrapped options to merge in February subsequent the FTC’s challenge, and a federal appeals courtroom sided with the FTC in March, blocking another merger in New Jersey.  

The FTC alleges that RWJBarnabas Health and Saint Peter’s compete head-to-head in New Jersey, specifically in the central part of the point out in Middlesex County.

Saint Peter’s medical center is significantly less than 1 mile away from RWJBarnabas’ flagship medical center, RWJ-New Brunswick. These are the only two hospitals in New Brunswick, one of the biggest metropolitan areas in Middlesex County, the FTC alleges. 

The present-day competitiveness in between the two “incentivizes them to maintain charges lower and good quality of treatment bigger than they would absent this opposition,” in accordance to the administrative complaint.    

Just after the acquisition, RWJBarnabas would management 50% of the marketplace for healthcare facility inpatient providers in Middlesex County. The two remaining competition would have considerably a lot less industry share, the FTC alleges.   

In the case’s up coming phase, a judge will hear from equally sides and weigh no matter whether to problem a preliminary injunction to block the deal. 

“The stipulated Short-term Restraining Get (TRO) is a common part of the judicial process in merger worries and demonstrates an agreement involving the events and the FTC that the parties will not shut their transaction until eventually the courtroom can maintain a listening to on and choose the FTC’s request for a preliminary injunction,” RWJBarnabas mentioned in a assertion to Healthcare Dive.

A federal judge in Utah also issued a short-term restraining buy this week, putting on keep HCA’s acquisition of five hospitals from Steward Wellbeing Treatment System. 

In that scenario, the FTC alleges that the acquisition would reduce competitors in the location all over Salt Lake Metropolis although increasing rates and lowering the good quality of care for sufferers. 

Also this week, the company voted to start an investigation into the tactics of drug middlemen, pharmacy gain administrators. 

These actions come as President Joe Biden’s administration has promised to acquire a more durable stance on healthcare consolidation.   

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