Apr. 23—A federal appeals court rejected ProMedica's bid to hold onto a recently acquired hospital in a deal that had drawn objections from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

A unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati denied ProMedica’s petition to overturn a 2011 FTC ruling that ProMedica’s bid to merge with Toledo-area St. Luke's was anticompetitive.

The ruling found that a ProMedica merger with St. Luke's gave the hospital system too much bargaining power in setting payment rates with private health insurers.

FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said in a release that the ruling demonstrates that "the FTC’s vigilant enforcement of the antitrust laws in health care provider markets helps deliver lower cost, higher-quality health care to consumers."

The not-for-profit health system, based in Toledo, plans to appeal the decision, company officials said in a release.

"As we continue this legal journey, we would like to emphasize that St. Luke's Hospital remains a member of ProMedica, continues to serve patients, and all health plans currently accepted at St. Luke’s will continue to be accepted," the ProMedica statement read.

Publication Date: Wednesday, April 23, 2014