The US Supreme Court narrows "State-Action" doctrine in hospital merger challenged by the US FTC (Phoebe Putney)

In a unanimous decision issued on February 19, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the state-action doctrine did not immunize Phoebe Putney Health System's acquisition of Palmyra Park Hospital in Albany, Georgia [1]. The decision immediately was hailed by FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz as "a big victory for consumers who want to see lower health care costs" and one that "will ensure competition in a variety of other industries, as well". This ruling both clarifies the standards needed to establish state-action immunity, while raising questions about what evidence will meet these standards. Phoebe arose out of the merger between two hospitals, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (PPMH)

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