Utah AG Announces Agreement With Dialysis Company Over Monopoly Issues

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes has announced a settlement with DaVita, Inc., a dialysis service provider over antitrust issues.

The settlement follows DaVita’s acquisition of all of the University of Utah’s kidney dialysis business, which consists of 18 clinics and other assets.

This settlement follows an earlier settlement between the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and DaVita over future company merger activity in the Provo area. The FTC originally issued this proposed order over concerns that DaVita monopolizes the local market for dialysis providers.

“The order follows allegations that DaVita’s proposed acquisition of the University of Utah Health dialysis clinics would reduce competition in life-saving outpatient dialysis services in the Provo market, in the Utah, ”according to the FTC.

Currently there are only three providers of dialysis clinics in the Provo area. With DaVita’s acquisition of the U of U clinic, officials say it would reduce competition in the local market.

“With our knowledge of local economic realities, we had some concerns that were not fully addressed in the FTC regulations,” says Reyes. “We appreciate that DaVita was able to work with us to effectively reach a resolution that alleviates many of these concerns. “

The new deal would require DaVita “to be required to receive prior approval from the FTC before acquiring a new stake in a dialysis clinic anywhere in Utah for a period of ten years.”

DaVita is also “prohibited from entering into or applying, directly or indirectly, non-compete agreements with physicians employed by the University which would restrict their ability to work in a clinic operated by a competitor of DaVita (except for prevent a medical director under contract with DaVita as medical director in a clinic operated by a competitor); enter into any agreement that prevents Sanderling from soliciting DaVita employees for hire; and directly solicit patients who receive services from the divested clinics for two years, ”according to the FTC.

“This settlement will make it easier for Utah dialysis patients to get the affordable care they need than would have been the case after this acquisition,” Reyes said.

To read the full court document, click here.

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