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US: North Dakota physician groups vow to fight FTC merger suit

 |  June 25, 2017

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and North Dakota Attorney General challenged Sanford Health’s proposed acquisition of the physician group Mid Dakota Clinic, alleging the combined group would have at least a 75% share of the physician primary care market in Bismarck, N.D.

The two regulators asked a federal district court in North Dakota to halt the deal, which would combine Sanford’s 40 hospitals and 250 clinics with Mid Dakota’s 61 physicians, six clinics and an ambulatory surgery center.

The transaction would create a group of physicians with approximately 75% to 85% percent market share in adult primary care physician services, pediatric services and obstetrics and gynecology services. It would be the only physician group offering general surgery physician services in the Bismarck-Mandan region, according to the FTC’s and attorney general’s complaint.

“We intend to vehemently defend our efforts to enhance medical care in central and western North Dakota,” said Craig Lambrecht, Executive Vice President of Sanford Bismarck, in a statement provided to Bloomberg BNA.

“This partnership is good for patients, the community, and anyone who would come to us in their time of need. We are honestly shocked that the FTC and attorney general would continue to deprive people of access to enhanced medical care for an unknown period of time. It just doesn’t make any sense.”

FTC antitrust regulators have increasingly had their eye on health care mergers involving physicians groups.

Full Content: Bloomberg

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