search

FTC Cracks Down On Anticompetitive Provider Mergers

posted by Alicia Caramenico

on January 6, 2016

 

Hospital consolidation in concentrated markets harms patients, leaving them with higher health care costs and fewer choices. That’s why the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is working to block anticompetitive hospital mergers to promote affordability and quality for patients across the country.

In November, the FTC challenged a “near monopoly” that would increase prices and diminish care quality for patients in West Virginia and Ohio. It also took action to stop the Penn State Hershey Medical Center-PinnacleHealth merger because it would have pushed costs upward while driving down the quality of health care services for Pennsylvania patients, Modern Healthcare reported.

Looking to shield patients in Illinois from higher prices and lower quality care, the FTC has challenged the merger of Advocate Health Care and NorthShore University HealthSystem, according to Healthcare Finance News.

As hospitals merge in greater numbers than ever before, these instances reinforce the need to protect the goals of higher quality care and affordability.