Nev. AG approves divestiture of two psychiatric hospital facilities

Bryan Cohen Dec. 30, 2011, 2:47pm


CARSON CITY, Nev. (Legal Newsline) - Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto approved the divestiture of two Las Vegas psychiatric hospital facilities on Thursday from Universal Health Services Inc. to Strategic Behavioral Health LLC.

UHS was required to sell Red Rock Behavioral Health Hospital and Montevista Hospital to a buyer that received the approval of Masto pursuant to a final judgment as part of a November 2010 antitrust lawsuit. Masto filed the lawsuit challenging UHS' $3.1 billion acquisition of Psychiatric Solutions,Inc.

"Strategic Behavioral Health indicates they have the experience and long term vision necessary to be an effective competitor of behavioral health care provided to Las Vegas area families," Masto said. "I welcome Strategic Behavioral Health and look forward to them becoming an integral part of the mental health community in Nevada."

The divesture ensures that competition remains for patients who require acute inpatient psychiatric care in Las Vegas. Without the divesture, UHS' acquisition of Psychiatric Solutions Inc. might have eliminated substantial head-to-head competition, increasing the likelihood of higher prices for and/or reduced availability of this important service.

UHS will reimburse the fees by Masto's office resulting from looking into proposed acquirers for the divested hospitals.

UHS is one of the largest providers of general medical hospitals and behavioral health facilities in the nation, especially in Nevada. Strategic Behavioral Health is a major provider of behavioral health services in Colorado and North Carolina and is based in Memphis.

Masto's Bureau of Consumer Protection enforces state consumer protection laws related to antitrust and deceptive trade. Antitrust laws protect open and free competition in the marketplace, prohibiting certain anti-competitive acts by companies.

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