As we previewed in our blog article in March on the establishment of California’s new Office of Health Care Affordability (OHCA), OHCA has issued proposed regulations available on the OHCA website, that provide anticipated details on OHCA’s advance review authority regarding certain transactions in the healthcare space.
On July 19, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice jointly published long-anticipated proposed merger guidelines (the “Proposed Merger Guidelines”), which had been expected since President Biden issued an Executive Order Promoting Competition in the American Economy in the summer of 2021. According to the agencies, the Proposed Merger Guidelines “build upon, expand, and clarify” the prior guidance, to keep up with “modern” market realities. In contrast to the previous versions, the Proposed Merger Guidelines cover both horizontal and vertical mergers. They also cite case law for the first time. Reflecting the Biden Administration’s views on federal antitrust merger enforcement, the Proposed Merger Guidelines substantially expand the types of competitive harm the agencies consider grounds for challenging a transaction under Section 7 of the Clayton Act (which prohibits mergers where the effect is “substantially to lessen competition” or “to tend to create a monopoly”).…
The FTC announced today a notice of proposed rulemaking (“NPRM”) proposing extensive revisions to both the rules that implement the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act (the “Act” or “HSR Act”), and the Premerger Notification and Report Form (the “Form”) that merging parties must submit under the Act. The NPRM would also implement the Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act of 2022. …
California has a new regulatory review process that could have implications for healthcare mergers and acquisitions and similar transactions in the state. By way of background, after nearly two years of negotiations with state legislators, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law healthcare omnibus bill SB 184 on June 30, 2022, which created the new Office of Health Care Affordability (OHCA). With this new law and state agency, California joins several other states, including Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington and Nevada in implementing oversight and funding measures geared towards healthcare cost growth targets and containment. While the goal of the law appears to be clear – monitoring and managing the costs of healthcare in California – healthcare industry stakeholders seeking to carry out applicable transactions will now need to be mindful of OHCA’s regulatory review authority.…
In its December Hospital Flash Report, Kaufman Hall identified and reviewed the continued, negative impact of COVID-19 on hospital operating margins. After a dramatic drop in hospital margins during the height of the pandemic in 2020 and early 2021, hospitals experienced a fluctuation of decreasing and increasing margins in the latter-half of the year. Overall, hospital margins remain significantly narrower than they were in 2019, before the pandemic. As a result, the industry may see an increase in hospital transactions in 2022 to offset the operational and financial hardships that continue to burden the health care system, as described in greater detail below.
Continue Reading COVID-19 Impacts and Outcomes on Hospital Margins in 2021: Increased Activity in Hospital Transactions in 2022?
As the world continues to shift and adapt to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the digital health sector has experienced tremendous growth and the momentum has only accelerated in 2021.
Continue Reading Trends in Digital Health Funding and Transactions: A Tremendous Year So Far
As we noted in our November 1, 2019 Healthcare Law Blog post, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra rejected the proposed merger between Adventist Health System/West and St. Joseph Health System (the “Proposed Merger”) in a denial letter issued on October 31, 2019. The Proposed Merger would have created a joint operating company to manage each health system’s facilities in Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Solano, and Sonoma Counties. In this blog post we will be discussing the Attorney General’s review process of hospital transactions and the reasons why this particular transaction may have been rejected. Moreover, we will assess what lessons can be learned going forward for other California healthcare systems and entities undergoing mergers and acquisitions in the future.
Continue Reading Adventist – St. Joseph Merger: AG Concludes Merger is Not in the Public Interest
On October 31, 2019, the California Department of Justice (“DOJ”) issued a denial letter rejecting a proposed merger between Adventist Health System/West and St. Joseph Health System. The parties had submitted notices to the DOJ requesting approval to form a joint operating company to manage the health systems’ nine health facilities in Northern California. According to the denial letter, the proposed transaction was rejected because the Attorney General concluded that it was not in the public interest due to concerns related to the potential for higher health costs and for reduced access and availability of health care services.
Continue Reading Merger of Adventist-St. Joseph Rejected by the California Attorney General
On September 7, 2018, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill No. 595, A.B. 595, which amends the California Health and Safety Code to increase oversight by the California Department of Managed Health Care (“DMHC”) of health care service plan mergers and acquisitions (M&A). (See, Cal. Health & Safety Code §§1399.65 and 1399.66). The law allows DMHC to reject M&A transactions that DMHC determines will have an adverse impact on, among other things, competition, subscribers and enrollees, and the stability of the health care delivery system. In addition, DMHC will be empowered to impose conditions that it believes will protect subscribers and enrollees and the public interest as a condition of approval of the transaction (as further described below).
Continue Reading New California Law re HMO M&A
Since 2014, there has been a steady increase in mergers and acquisitions in the Rehabilitation sector, with a total of 40 deals announced in 2016. This is almost double the number of deals in 2014 (a total of 21), and includes deals with both publicly traded corporations as well as privately held acquirers. Similarly, after seeing a sharp decline in M&A activity in 2015, the home health and hospice sectors saw an increase of 12% in M&A activity in 2016 with a total of 57 deals announced, including several deals involving private equity investors.
Continue Reading Merger and Acquisition Activity in the Rehabilitation, Home Health and Hospice Sectors Increased in 2016, But Will this Trend Continue?
The FTC just suffered a major setback in its concerted efforts to challenge the ever growing number of consolidations in the healthcare industry, failing to secure a preliminary injunction to block a hospital merger in central Pennsylvania. In a decisive and strongly-worded opinion, the Honorable John Jones III of the Middle District of Pennsylvania concluded that (1) the FTC had fatally alleged an unrealistically narrow geographic market; and (2) the merger was likely to benefit (not harm) consumers, in part by allowing the merged entity to remain competitive in the new healthcare environment which “virtually compels” consolidations. Federal Trade Commission et al. v. Penn State Hershey Med. Ctr. et al., Case No. 1:15-cv-02362 (May 9, 2016, M.D. Penn).
Continue Reading FTC Suffers Setback in Campaign to Slow the Rising Tide of Healthcare Consolidations