The Federal Trade Commission is now ready to resume its fight to block Phoebe Putney's purchase of Palmyra Medical Center. The FTC hopes a hearing on the buyout will be held by July.
The agency challenged the sale of the hospital two years, claiming it would create an illegal monopoly and drive up health care prices.
The hearing process was put on hold while Phoebe argued in federal court that Georgia law exempts state-related agencies such as hospital authorities from federal antitrust laws.
Last month the US Supreme Court ruled Georgia law offers no such exemption. The FTC now says it will continue to challenge the purchase and says that process needs to be completed quickly since Phoebe has already taken over management of what is now called Phoebe North.
Phoebe Putney issued this statement-
"Our attorneys have been notified of the order to lift the stay. This was expected as a part of this process. Matters now move into a resumption of the discovery process in preparation for a hearing. We look forward to demonstrating the substantial benefits that have accrued and will accrue to the community we serve as a result of this acquisition by the Authority," stated Tommy Chambless, Phoebe's general counsel.