West Virginia governor pushes for oversight exemption for hospital merger

The governor of West Virginia appears to have come up with a unique way to avoid a challenge from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over a pending merger of hospitals: exempt the deal from federal law. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed into law a bill that would exempt the merger of Cabell Huntington Hospital's acquisition of St. Mary's Medical Center from federal law, The Huntington Herald-Dispatch has reported. The FTC sought to hold up the merger last year, saying it was anti-competitive and would raise the cost of healthcare services for local residents. State regulators have provisionally approved the deal with some conditions attached. "We are confident that the new legislation meets all of the requirements established by the United States Supreme Court to place approval of the transaction with West Virginians who understand our state and its healthcare needs," a statement from Tomblin's office said. Article