Media Contact: Liz Brocker (701) 328-2213
BISMARCK, ND - In an opinion issued today, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has affirmed the preliminary injunction blocking the proposed acquisition of Mid Dakota Clinic by Sanford Health, which injunction was issued by the US District Court in the antitrust case brought by Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and the Federal Trade Commission on June 11, 2017.
“I am very pleased with the Appellate Court’s decision to uphold Magistrate Senechal’s decision, which I believe recognized the potential negative consequences for patients in the Bismarck-Mandan area,” said Stenehjem.
Stenehjem and the FTC brought the action to pause the merger of Sanford Health and Mid Dakota Clinic because of concerns that a merger would eliminate the significant competition between Sanford and Mid Dakota Clinic in the Bismarck-Mandan area, resulting in a lack of choice for patients and higher prices.
Sanford and Mid Dakota are each other’s closest rivals in Bismarck-Mandan region. In its decision, the 8th Circuit found that as a combined entity, Sanford and Mid Dakota Clinic would have an 86-98% share of each of the primary care, pediatrics, OB GYN, and general surgery services market. The combined entity would have been the only physician group offering general surgery physician services in the Bismarck-Mandan area.
On December 14, 2017, US District Court Magistrate Alice Senechal issued a preliminary injunction blocking the proposed merger between Sanford Health and Mid Dakota Clinic until a FTC administrative hearing could be held to determine the legality of the transaction. Sanford Health and Mid Dakota Clinic appealed and the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments on the appeal on November 13, 2018.
“Competition in the marketplace benefits consumers, including when that competition is for medical care. Today’s decision by the Eighth Circuit to affirm the US District Court’s decision is in the best interests of the local community,” said Stenehjem.
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