January 19, 2022

News

News Network

Justice Department Sues To Block Geisinger Health’s Transaction With Evangelical Community Hospital

8 min read
<div>The U.S. Department of Justice sued today to block Geisinger Health’s partial acquisition of its close rival, Evangelical Community Hospital. The complaint alleges that the agreement fundamentally alters the relationship between the parties, raising the likelihood of coordination and reducing Defendants’ incentives to compete aggressively against each other. As a result, the transaction is likely to lead to higher prices, lower quality, and reduced access to high-quality inpatient hospital services for patients in central Pennsylvania. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.</div>

The U.S. Department of Justice sued today to block Geisinger Health’s partial acquisition of its close rival, Evangelical Community Hospital.  The complaint alleges that the agreement fundamentally alters the relationship between the parties, raising the likelihood of coordination and reducing Defendants’ incentives to compete aggressively against each other.  As a result, the transaction is likely to lead to higher prices, lower quality, and reduced access to high-quality inpatient hospital services for patients in central Pennsylvania.  The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. 

“Preserving competition in healthcare markets is a priority for the Department of Justice because of its important impact on the health and well-being of Americans,” said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division.  “This agreement between Geisinger and Evangelical threatens to harm patients in central Pennsylvania by reducing competition that has improved the price, quality, and availability of healthcare in the region.”

Geisinger, a large hospital system in central and northeastern Pennsylvania, and Evangelical, an independent community hospital in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, are close competitors for inpatient general acute-care hospital services for many patients in a six-county area in central Pennsylvania, with the two hospitals together accounting for approximately 71 percent of the market in this region. 

According to the complaint, Geisinger has a history of acquiring community hospitals in Pennsylvania and initially sought to acquire Evangelical in full.  Defendants recognized, however, that such an acquisition would likely violate the antitrust laws.  Instead, on February 1, 2019, Geisinger and Evangelical entered into a partial-acquisition agreement, in part, to avoid antitrust scrutiny.  This agreement, however, imposes significant entanglements between Defendants, reducing their incentives to independently compete against each other and increasing the likelihood of coordination.  For example, the agreement gives Geisinger a 30 percent ownership interest in Evangelical and requires it to invest $100 million in Evangelical, much of which is earmarked for specified projects approved by Geisinger.  These terms link the two organizations financially and set Geisinger up as a critical source of funding to Evangelical for the foreseeable future.  According to Geisinger documents quoted in the complaint, Geisinger’s investment makes Evangelical “tied to us” so “they don’t go to a competitor.”  The agreement also gives Geisinger rights of first offer and first refusal for certain transactions and joint ventures, which, in conjunction with other provisions in the agreement, make it difficult for Evangelical to partner with other healthcare entities.  The complaint alleges that the provisions in the agreement work together to substantially lessen competition and unreasonably restrain trade in the market for inpatient hospital services in central Pennsylvania.  Further, the agreement is not reasonably necessary to achieve any community benefits.

Geisinger Health is a regional, not-for-profit healthcare provider that operates hospitals, physician practices, outpatient facilities, and urgent-care centers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  Geisinger’s flagship facility is Geisinger Medical Center, a 574-bed hospital located in Danville, Pennsylvania.  Geisinger Health’s revenues in FY2019 were approximately $7.1 billion.

Evangelical Community Hospital is a 132-bed non-profit independent community hospital located in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.  It owns physician practices and operates an urgent-care facility and several other outpatient facilities in central Pennsylvania.  Its revenues in FY2019 were approximately $259 million.

News Network

  • Global Entry for Passport Holders of Taiwan
    In Travel
    How to Apply for Global [Read More…]
  • Company’s Vice President Pleads Guilty to Negligently Releasing Asbestos
    In Crime News
    A New York man pleaded guilty today to negligently releasing asbestos and thereby exposing victims to an increased risk of death or serious bodily injury.
    [Read More…]
  • Chemical Assessments: Annual EPA Survey Inconsistent with Leading Practices in Program Management
    In U.S GAO News
    The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) Program has not produced timely chemical assessments, and most of its 15 ongoing assessments have experienced delays. As we reported in March 2019, the IRIS Program has taken some actions to make the assessment process more transparent, such as increasing communication with EPA offices and releasing supporting documentation for review earlier in the draft development process, but the need for greater transparency in some steps of the assessment process remains. Specifically, the IRIS Program does not publicly announce when assessment drafts move to certain steps in their development process or announce reasons for delays in producing specific assessments. Without such information, stakeholders who may be able to help fill data and analytical gaps are unable to contribute. This could leave EPA without potential support that could help overcome delays. Delays of Milestones by Quarter for a Selection of the Integrated Risk information System's Assessments in Development 2019 - 2024 In mid-2018, EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD) instituted changes to the way it solicits nominations for chemical assessments prepared by the IRIS Program but did so without providing sufficient guidance or criteria, raising questions about its ability to meet EPA user needs. For example, ORD issued a new survey to EPA program and regional offices but did not provide them with guidance for selecting chemicals for nomination, and ORD did not make explicit the criteria it was using for selecting nominations to include in the IRIS Program's list of assessments in development. Furthermore, despite a significant decline in survey participation between 2018 and 2019, EPA did not indicate whether the agency has assessed the quality of information generated by the survey. Leading program management practices state that agency management should internally communicate the necessary, quality information to achieve the entity's objectives and should monitor and evaluate program activities. Without evaluating the quality of the information produced by the survey, ORD cannot know if the survey is achieving its intended purpose and whether ORD has the information necessary to meet user needs. EPA's IRIS Program prepares chemical toxicity assessments that contain EPA's scientific position on the potential human health effects of exposure to chemicals; at present, the IRIS database contains more than 570 chemical assessments. In March 2019, GAO reported on the IRIS Program's changes to increase transparency about its processes and methodologies, including the use of systematic review. However, GAO also found that EPA decreased the number of ongoing assessments in December 2018 from 22 to 13 and continued to face challenges in producing timely assessments. This report evaluates (1) EPA's progress in completing IRIS chemical assessments since 2018; and (2) EPA's recent actions to manage the IRIS Program, and the extent to which these actions help the Program meet EPA user needs. GAO reviewed and analyzed EPA documents and interviewed officials from EPA; GAO also selected three standards for program management, found commonalities among them, and compared ORD's management of the IRIS Program against these leading practices. GAO is making five recommendations, including that EPA provide more information publicly about where chemical assessments are in the development process; and issue guidance for selecting chemicals for nomination and criteria for selecting nominations for assessment. EPA partially agreed with two of our recommendations and disagreed with the other three. For more information, contact J. Alfredo Gómez at (202) 512-3841 or gomezj@gao.gov.
    [Read More…]
  • The Opening of the Israeli Embassy in the United Arab Emirates
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Countering Violent Extremism: DHS Can Further Enhance Its Strategic Planning and Data Governance Efforts
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found DHS's 2019 Strategic Framework for Countering Terrorism and Targeted Violence and the related plans—collectively referred to as the strategy—outline the department's vision for all DHS counterterrorism activities. In prior work, GAO has identified seven elements of a comprehensive strategy. GAO found that DHS's strategy contains some but not all of the key elements (see figure). For example, GAO found that DHS's strategy included a mission statement, and a set of goals that were in turn linked to objectives and priority actions. However, the strategy did not include a discussion of external factors such as how the economy, demographics, or emerging technologies may affect the department in meeting its goals. By identifying and assessing such external factors, DHS would be better positioned to proactively mitigate such factors or plan for contingencies, if needed. Extent to Which DHS's Strategy for Countering Terrorism and Targeted Violence Included the Seven Elements of a Comprehensive Strategy DHS has taken some steps to establish a data governance framework, which helps ensure that an agency's data assets are transparent, accessible, and of sufficient quality to support its mission. For example, DHS established a data governance council to manage various data priority areas, however it has not yet completed actions to include targeted violence and terrorism prevention data into its department-wide framework. DHS has already identified some data challenges, such as the lack of comprehensive, national-level statistics on terrorism and targeted violence that underscore the need for a data governance framework. By incorporating targeted violence and terrorism prevention data into its broader data governance framework, DHS would be better able to leverage data to support and inform its prevention efforts, including building effective policy to address the threats and trends it identifies in the data. Why GAO Did This Study Data collected through the Extremist Crime Database show that there were 81 fatal violent extremist attacks in the United States from 2010 through 2020, resulting in 240 deaths. Since 2010, DHS has developed strategic initiatives that address targeted violence and terrorism prevention, which include efforts to counter violent extremism, among other things. GAO was asked to review DHS's longer-term efforts to prevent terrorism and targeted violence. This report examines the extent to which (1) DHS's 2019 strategy to address targeted violence and terrorism prevention includes key elements of a comprehensive strategy, and (2) DHS has developed a data governance framework to help implement its strategy. GAO reviewed DHS documentation and compared DHS's strategy to identified elements of a comprehensive strategy, and compared DHS's efforts to develop a data governance framework to federal requirements for implementing data governance.
    [Read More…]
  • Remarks at Munich Security Conference Special Session
    In Climate - Environment - Conservation
    John Kerry, Special [Read More…]
  • Senate Disbursing Office: Procedures Related to 2021 Cash Count
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found GAO performed agreed-upon procedures at the Senate Disbursing Office (SDO) consisting of (1) identifying the authorized and reported amount of cash accountability for the Secretary of the Senate, (2) counting all cash items that support the cash accountability level of the SDO, (3) counting all noncash items that support the cash accountability level of the SDO, and (4) agreeing the total amount counted to the authorized amount and reported amount of cash accountability. The total value of cash and noncash items counted on August 10, 2021, agreed to the cash accountability level that the SDO authorized and reported, except for a difference of $3.06, which SDO officials stated is a known overage that has accumulated over time. The Secretary of the Senate is responsible for the sufficiency of these agreed-upon procedures to meet the SDO's objectives, and GAO makes no representation in that respect. The report provides the details on the agreed-upon procedures and the results of performing each of the procedures. The Secretary of the Senate in an email response stated that she had no comments on the draft report. Why GAO Did This Study The Chairwoman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration requested that GAO perform procedures on the cash accountability level that the SDO authorized and reported. The cash accountability level represents the value of cash and noncash items for which the Secretary of the Senate, as disbursing officer for the U.S. Senate, is responsible. For more information, contact Hannah Padilla at (202) 512-5683 or padillah@gao.gov.
    [Read More…]
  • Condemning the Assassination of Abdul Wase Ghafari
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Michael R. Pompeo, [Read More…]
  • Former Blue Bell Creameries President Charged In Connection With 2015 Ice Cream Listeria Contamination
    In Crime News
    A Texas grand jury charged the former president of ice cream manufacturer Blue Bell Creameries L.P. with wire fraud and conspiracy in connection with an alleged scheme to cover up the company’s sales of Listeria-tainted ice cream in 2015, the Justice Department announced today. 
    [Read More…]
  • NASA-led Study Reveals the Causes of Sea Level Rise Since 1900
    In Space
    Scientists have gained [Read More…]
  • Florida Corporation and Executives Plead Guilty to Conspiracy to Sell Anabolic Steroids and Unlawful Dietary Supplements
    In Crime News
    Blackstone Labs LLC (“Blackstone”) and two of its executives pleaded guilty to conspiring to sell illegal anabolic steroids and other unlawful products marketed as dietary supplements, the Justice Department announced.  
    [Read More…]
  • Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco and FBI Director Christopher Wray Deliver Remarks on Sodinokibi/REvil Ransomware Arrest
    In Crime News
    More from: November 8, [Read More…]
  • Secretary Blinken’s Meeting with Norwegian Foreign Minister Søreide
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Climate Change: A Climate Migration Pilot Program Could Enhance the Nation’s Resilience and Reduce Federal Fiscal Exposure
    In U.S GAO News
    GAO identified few communities in the United States that have considered climate migration as a resilience strategy, and two—Newtok, Alaska, and Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana—that moved forward with relocation. Newtok, for example, faced imminent danger from shoreline erosion due to thawing permafrost and storm surge (see figure). Literature and experts suggest that many more communities will need to consider relocating in coming decades. Shoreline Erosion at Newtok, Alaska, from July 2007 to October 2019. Federal programs provide limited support to climate migration efforts because they are designed to address other priorities, according to literature GAO reviewed and interviews with stakeholders and federal officials. Federal programs generally are not designed to address the scale and complexity of community relocation and generally fund acquisition of properties at high risk of damage from disasters in response to a specific event such as a hurricane. Unclear federal leadership is the key challenge to climate migration as a resilience strategy. Because no federal agency has the authority to lead federal assistance for climate migration, support for climate migration efforts has been provided on an ad hoc basis. For example, it has taken over 30 years to begin relocating Newtok and more than 20 years for Isle de Jean Charles, in part because no federal entity has the authority to coordinate assistance, according to stakeholders in Alaska and Louisiana. These and other communities will rely on post-disaster assistance if no action is taken beforehand—this increases federal fiscal exposure. Risk management best practices and GAO's 2019 Disaster Resilience Framework suggest that federal agencies should manage such risks before a disaster hits. A well-designed climate migration pilot program that is based on project management best practices could improve federal institutional capability. For example, the interagency National Mitigation Investment Strategy—the national strategy to improve resilience to disasters—recommends that federal agencies use pilot programs to demonstrate the value of resilience projects. As GAO reported in October 2019, a strategic and iterative risk-informed approach for identifying and prioritizing climate resilience projects could help target federal resources to the nation's most significant climate risks. A climate migration pilot program could be a key part of this approach, enhancing the nation's climate resilience and reducing federal fiscal exposure. According to the 13-agency United States Global Change Research Program, relocation due to climate change will be unavoidable in some coastal areas in all but the very lowest sea level rise projections. One way to reduce the risks to these communities is to improve their climate resilience by planning and preparing for potential hazards related to climate change such as sea level rise. Climate migration—the preemptive movement of people and property away from areas experiencing severe impacts—is one way to improve climate resilience. GAO was asked to review federal support for climate migration. This report examines (1) the use of climate migration as a resilience strategy; (2) federal support for climate migration; and (3) key challenges to climate migration and how the federal government can address them. GAO conducted a literature review of over 52 sources and interviewed 12 climate resilience experts. In addition, GAO selected and interviewed 46 stakeholders in four communities that have considered relocation: Newtok, Alaska; Santa Rosa, California; Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana; and Smith Island, Maryland. Congress should consider establishing a pilot program with clear federal leadership to identify and provide assistance to communities that express affirmative interest in relocation as a resilience strategy. The Departments of Homeland Security and Housing and Urban Development provided technical comments that GAO incorporated as appropriate. For more information, contact Alfredo Gómez at (202) 512-3841 or gomezj@gao.gov.
    [Read More…]
  • Texas Man Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud for Foreign Exchange Investment Fraud Scheme
    In Crime News
    A Texas man pleaded guilty today in the Southern District of Texas to defrauding investors that he solicited via social media by falsely promising high rates of return and low or no-risk returns on foreign exchange investments.
    [Read More…]
  • Justice Department Awards Over $33 Million in Grants to Advance Community Policing Efforts Across the Country
    In Crime News
    The Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) today announced over $33 million in funding to advance the practice of community policing in law enforcement.
    [Read More…]
  • Deputy Secretary Sherman’s Meeting with Pakistani Foreign Minister Qureshi
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • On the Extension of the New START Treaty with the Russian Federation
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Secretary Antony J. Blinken Conversation with Colombian Youth
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Joint Statement on the United States-Montenegro Economic Dialogue
    In Human Health, Resources and Services
    Office of the [Read More…]

Crime

Network News © 2005 Area.Control.Network™ All rights reserved.