FTC Sues to Block John Muir Health’s Takeover of San Ramon Regional Medical Center

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The Federal Trade Commission today sued to block John Muir Health’s proposed $142.5 million deal to acquire sole ownership of San Ramon Regional Medical Center, LLC from current majority owner Tenet Healthcare Corporation, saying the deal will drive up health care costs.

The Commission issued an administrative complaint and authorized a lawsuit in federal court alleging the proposed acquisition will eliminate head-to-head competition between John Muir Health (John Muir) and nearby San Ramon Regional Medical Center (San Ramon Medical). John Muir and San Ramon Medical operate in California’s I-680 corridor, which spans Contra Costa and Alameda Counties in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The deal would allow John Muir to demand higher rates at its two hospitals as well as San Ramon Medical for inpatient general acute care services (GAC), which are a broad range of essential medical, surgical, and diagnostic services that require an overnight hospital stay. The elimination of competition between John Muir and San Ramon Medical would also reduce incentives for these hospitals to invest in quality improvements.

“San Ramon Regional Medical Center has played an important role in ensuring Californians in the I-680 corridor have access to quality, affordable care for critical health care services, such as cardiac surgery and childbirth,” said Henry Liu, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition. “John Muir’s acquisition of San Ramon Medical would increase already high health care costs in the area and threaten to stall quality improvements that help advance care for all patients.”

The FTC and the California Attorney General’s office closely cooperated throughout the investigation and will jointly file a complaint in federal district court.

John Muir Health, a non-profit corporation headquartered in Walnut Creek, California, operates two hospitals that provide inpatient GAC services along the I-680 corridor. Dallas-based Tenet operates 61 general acute care hospitals and hundreds of outpatient facilities nationally, including numerous facilities in California.

Currently, Tenet operates San Ramon Medical and holds a 51% interest in the medical center, while John Muir owns a 49% non-operating interest in San Ramon Medical. Under the terms of the proposed deal, John Muir would acquire Tenet’s remaining interest in San Ramon Medical and would become its sole owner and operator.

The complaint alleges that the proposed deal would allow John Muir to control more than 50% of the market for inpatient GAC services sold to commercial insurers and their enrollees in the I-680 corridor, eliminating competition between John Muir and San Ramon Medical to provide better services, high-quality care, and access that benefits patients in this region. Currently, San Ramon Medical is a lower-priced competitor seeking to offer inpatient GAC services in the I-680 corridor to enrollees. John Muir’s hospitals are close competitors to San Ramon Medical in terms of both patient preference and geographic location, according to the complaint. The proposed acquisition would lead to higher insurance premiums, co-pays, deductibles, and other out-of-pocket costs, or reduced benefits for commercial health insurance enrollees, the complaint alleges.

In addition to filing an administrative complaint, FTC staff will also ask a federal court to issue a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to prevent John Muir from taking control of San Ramon Medical pending the agency’s administrative proceeding.

The Commission vote to issue the administrative complaint and authorize staff to seek a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction was 3-0. The federal court complaint and request for preliminary relief will be filed jointly with the California Attorney General in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to halt the transaction pending an administrative proceeding. A public version of the complaint will be available and linked to this news release as soon as possible.

NOTE: The Commission issues an administrative complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the law has been or is being violated, and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. The issuance of the administrative complaint marks the beginning of a proceeding in which the allegations will be tried in a formal hearing before an administrative law judge.

Official news published at https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/news/press-releases/2023/11/ftc-sues-block-john-muir-healths-takeover-san-ramon-regional-medical-center

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VIP Minds CEO and Visionary Nora Abou Chakra Launches ‘Power Hearts,’ a Transformative Initiative Driving Social Change

CEOs revolutionizing philanthropy through inspiring charitable actions

Today marks the launch of "Power Hearts," an innovative initiative led by businesswoman and visionary Nora Abou Chakra. With each endeavor, Power Hearts embarks on a different mission, empowering CEOs to take direct action and make a tangible impact. Through immersive experiences and hands-on involvement, Power Hearts addresses pressing societal issues, fostering empathy and inspiring CEOs to become advocates for change within their organizations and communities.

Nora Abou Chakra, a respected entrepreneur known for her philanthropic endeavors, has once again demonstrated her commitment to driving social change with the launch of Power Hearts. Under this empowering initiative, CEOs from diverse industries come together to tackle pressing issues and create transformative solutions.

An example of these missions is hunger. Power Hearts combats hunger and alleviate the suffering of those affected by it. CEOs gather in a large-scale communal kitchen, where they actively participate in purchasing groceries and cooking meals for those in need.

The immersive experience provided by Power Hearts goes beyond the kitchen. CEOs physically hit the streets, personally distributing the freshly prepared meals to individuals experiencing hunger. This direct interaction with those in need further deepens their understanding of the issue, sparking a profound connection and a sense of shared humanity.

CEOs return to their organizations with a renewed perspective and a profound commitment to addressing the issue of hunger. They become ambassadors for change, leveraging their influence and resources to advocate for hunger relief initiatives within their respective communities and among their staff members.

Nora Abou Chakra, the driving force behind Power Hearts, expressed her enthusiasm for the initiative, stating, "Power Hearts aims to create a ripple effect of compassion and advocacy. By immersing CEOs in the realities of pressing social issues, we ignite a powerful drive for change that reverberates throughout their personal and professional spheres. Together, we can make a significant difference and create a more compassionate and equitable world."

Power Hearts represents Nora Abou Chakra's unwavering commitment to leveraging the influence and resources of business leaders for the greater good. By providing CEOs with transformative experiences, Power Hearts empowers them to become catalysts for change and advocates for social causes that resonate with their hearts.

For more information about Power Hearts and its upcoming initiatives, please visit powerhearts.com or follow us on @power.hearts

Contact Information:
Stephanie Khalil
Executive Assistant to CEO

Original Source: VIP Minds CEO and Visionary Nora Abou Chakra Launches 'Power Hearts,' a Transformative Initiative Driving Social Change

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