The federal government was investigating a potential merger between two Middle Georgia hospital systems before the merger fell through last week, according to a release from the Federal Trade Commission.
The FTC was investigating the proposed merger between Atrium Health Navicent and the Houston Healthcare System before the organizations abandoned the move. The FTC intended to challenge the merger, according to a release.
“This is great news for patients in central Georgia. The proposed transaction threatened to increase healthcare costs for employers and patients in the region and would have substantially lessened competition that has benefited the community through expansion of healthcare services and improved quality of care,” said Rebecca Kelly Slaughter, acting FTC chairwoman. “I commend staff for their excellent work on this investigation and their commitment to promoting competition in our healthcare markets.”
Navicent announced Feb. 25 that both organizations agreed to stop pursuing the merger.
“The physicians and teammates of Atrium Health Navicent and Houston Healthcare remain committed to continuing our strong history of working together and look forward to a bright future to enhance patient care and improve access to services throughout Central Georgia. Atrium Health Navicent and Houston Healthcare will continue to look for new ways to work together to provide services that improve the health and well-being of our communities,” the statement read.
Navicent — which recently announced its new name Atrium Health Navicent as part of its ongoing partnership with the North Carolina-based Atrium Health — is Georgia’s second largest hospital system with more than 30 facilities.
Houston County Healthcare has facilities in Warner Robins, Perry, Bonaire and Kathleen.