In re Matter of LCMC Health & HCA Healthcare

Date Filed: April 19, 2023
Status: Decided
District Court: Eastern District of Louisiana – No. 2:23-cv-01311, No. 2:23-cv-01305, No. 2:23-cv-01890
Nature of Suit: Antitrust-Consolidation
Defendant Type: Provider
Plaintiff Type: Federal

This action arises out of the FTC’s objection to LCMC’s acquisition of three hospitals owned by HCA Healthcare in Louisiana. LCMC, a nonprofit hospital that operates six hospitals in the New Orleans area, had obtained a certificate of public advantage (COPA) from the Louisiana attorney general for the acquisitions, which were completed in early 2023.

The FTC alleges that even though LCMC obtained a COPA from the state, the parties are still required to comply with the FTC’s Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Act and report the transaction to the FTC. The hospitals and Louisiana AG (Plaintiff-Intervenor in the case) claim that the transactions are not subject to federal antitrust enforcement due to the state action immunity doctrine.

In response to the FTC’s objection, LCMC and HCA Healthcare filed separate complaints in the District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. FTC then countersued with an action of their own in the District of Columbia District Court. However, the FTC’s action was transferred from DC to the Eastern District of Louisiana.

On September 27, 2023, a federal judge ruled in favor of Louisiana Children’s Medical Center’s purchase of the three HCA hospitals, dismissing the FTC’s claims with prejudice. The judge concluded that the transaction was exempt from the federal antitrust laws and was not required to comply with Section 7A of the Clayton Antitrust Act’s requirements.

Follow the latest developments of the case on the Source Blog.

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