The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the State of Nevada recently reached a settlement with a Reno health provider which acquired virtually all the cardiology practices in its service area. According to an alert from the American Health Lawyers’ Association Antitrust Practice Group, Renown Health purchased two large cardiology practices for a total of $7.4 million. The deal represented 32 physicians of the total 33 practicing cardiologists. However, with later departures and additions, the count dropped to 88% of the cardiologists.
The FTC ordered what amounts to a “divestiture” including the suspension the hospital’s noncompete agreements with the physicians until at least six cardiologists have accepted offers with competing practices in the Reno area. Related prohibitions against enforcing nonsolicitation provisions, interfering with the establishment of any new practice, and inducing the physicians not to leave were also part of the order.