ABINGDON, VA (WJHL) — The Southwest Virginia Health Authority says it has received a response from Wellmont Health System and Mountain States Health Alliance to the Federal Trade Commission’s written comment on their proposed merger.
Earlier this month the FTC asked the state of Virginia to deny the merger application saying they have significant concerns about patient care and pricing under the merger.
The FTC submitted a written statement to the Southwest Virginia Health Authority and Virginia’s health commissioner who will help determine if this merger goes through.
The two health systems today released a 39 page response to the FTC’s comments, saying their concerns were unfounded and inapplicable to the Southwest Virginia region.
Wellmont and Mountain States write, “The merged health care system would operate in a regulated program that places strong constraints on any attempted exercise of market power. Among other things, the merged system will be subject to a cap on rate increases to reduce the place of health care cost growth…”
The Southwest Virginia Health Authority plans to meet with representatives from the FTC on October 26th. It will begin consideration of the application for the cooperative agreement on October 27th. That’s also when they will take public comment on the health systems’ response to the FTC.
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