Approved settlement restores the health system and community hospital's ability to compete on quality and price.
After a period open for public comment, the U.S. District Court of the middle District of Pennsylvania on September 16 approved the agreement, resolving the DOJ’s lawsuit.
Under the deal, which settled a federal antitrust lawsuit, Geisinger Health will cap at 7.5% its partial ownership of smaller, in-state rival Evangelical Community Hospital and will "eliminate additional entanglements."
The settlement prevents Geisinger from exerting control over Evangelical and restores the ability for them to compete with each other on both quality and price, according to the DOJ. The two providers must also implement antitrust compliance programs.
The settlement, however, allows Evangelical to get an electronic health records system and tech support from Geisinger.
"We have always felt that our investment in Evangelical Community Hospital fostered healthy competition and helped improve our region's access to high-quality, affordable care," Matt Walsh, Geisinger's executive vice president and chief operating officer, said in a press release.
"Geisinger’s investment in Evangelical has received overwhelming community support and advances Evangelical’s important role as a vibrant, independent community hospital," he said. "We look forward to our continued progress on projects that benefit the health and well-being of our patients and the community at large."
Carol Davis is the Nursing Editor at HealthLeaders, an HCPro brand.