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In June 2016, AmSurg Corp. and Envision Healthcare Holdings, Inc. (Envision) announced they have signed a definitive merger agreement pursuant to which the companies will combine in an all-stock transaction. Upon completion of the merger, which is expected to be tax-free to the shareholders of both organizations, the combined company will be named Envision Healthcare Corporation and co-headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee and Greenwood Village, Colorado. The company's common stock is expected to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol: EVHC. Bass, Berry & Sims served as lead counsel on the transaction, led by Jim Jenkins. Read more.

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Inside the FCA blogInside the FCA blog features ongoing updates related to the False Claims Act (FCA), including insight on the latest legal decisions, regulatory developments and FCA settlements. The blog provides timely updates for corporate boards, directors, compliance managers, general counsel and other parties interested in the organizational impact and legal developments stemming from issues potentially giving rise to FCA liability.

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FTC Targets Healthcare M&A Again


November 19, 2014

Healthcare continues to be highly scrutinized by the antitrust enforcement agencies. The latest enforcement action involved the merger of two competing outpatient surgery center companies. On October 31, the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") announced that it entered into a proposed settlement regarding its challenge of Surgery Partners' $792 million acquisition of Symbion. The proposed settlement requires Surgery Partners to divest its interest in the newly acquired Blue Springs Surgery Center in Orange City, Florida to an FTC-approved buyer within 60 days.

The antitrust enforcers consider multiple factors when evaluating a healthcare merger's potential impact on consumers, including the merged company's market share; the number of competitors in the market; and whether new competitors can or will enter the market. The FTC’s complaint alleged that the Surgery Partners-Symbion merger would combine the only two multi-specialty ambulatory surgery centers in Orange City, leaving only one meaningful alternative in the broader southwestern Volusia County area. The merging parties' agreement to divest the Blue Springs facility allows them to avoid litigating with the FTC.

This is not the FTC's first challenge of an outpatient surgical services acquisition. In 2012, a health system abandoned its proposed acquisition of Surgical Institute of Reading after the FTC filed an administrative complaint challenging the merger as anticompetitive. This latest case is further confirmation that healthcare companies contemplating an acquisition, merger, or other form of consolidation should fully consider the possible antitrust risks and consequences that the potential transaction may present.

A copy of the FTC's complaint may be obtained here.

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