The AHA today urged the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit to reject the government’s “formulaic and narrow” test for evaluating hospital mergers in Federal Trade Commission et al. v. Advocate Health Care Network et al. “The Government’s proposal would sharply limit the types of relevant evidence that district courts may consider in defining geographic markets, requiring them to ignore commercial realities,” AHA said in a friend-of-the-court brief. “Such a result would be inconsistent with decades of antitrust jurisprudence requiring courts to examine all relevant market factors. The Government’s position is that a district court errs as a matter of law if it examines the full range of evidentiary facts that may affect the geographical scope of a market….[Its] proposed standard not only conflicts with controlling law, but also makes no sense because it ignores how health care markets work. The shift to outpatient care has fundamentally changed the nature of geographic market analysis for inpatient hospital services, particularly in large urban areas like Chicago.”