Illinois health systems scrap plans to merge in face of FTC challenge

Posted April 30, 2012

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OSF HealthCare System, based in Peoria, Ill., and Rockford (Ill.) Health System canceled plans to merge, according to a statement issued April 12 by both organizations.

The entities announced May 2010 an intention to affiliate as part of efforts to improve care coordination. The Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint in November 2011 alleging that the deal violated antitrust regulations. The complaint was dismissed after merger plans were abandoned.

“The FTC remains vigilant and will not hesitate to challenge deals in the health care sector that are likely to decrease competition and lead to higher prices or fewer services,” FTC Chair Jon Leibowitz said.

Agency analysis indicates that if the merger had been completed, the resulting entity and its one competitor in Rockford, Swedish American Health System, would have controlled 60% of all primary care physician services and 99% of general acute inpatient care in the area. In recent months, the FTC has stated its intention to be more aggressive about reviewing hospital mergers.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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