Several healthcare mergers were called off after the Federal Trade Commision filed an an anti-competition lawsuit to block the proposed deals between HCA Healthcare and Steward Healthcare System; RWJBarnabas Health and Saint Peter’s Healthcare System; and Hackensack Meridian Health, Inc.
In filing the administrative complaints, FTC alleged that instead of maintaining a vital competition among the healthcare systems that will benefit both the commercial insurers and customers, these acquisitions will result to the systems commanding a higher reimbursement rates and thus, higher prices for the patients.
The NonProfit Times further reported:
A spokesperson for the FTC has not immediately responded to a request for comment but FTC Bureau of Competition Director Holly Vedova issued a statement:
“I am glad that rival hospital systems RWJ and Saint Peter’s have terminated an anticompetitive merger that would have harmed patients in Middlesex County, New Jersey. The transaction would have combined two hospitals located less than a mile from each other, which also happen to be the only two hospitals in the city of New Brunswick, New Jersey. With combined shares of approximately 50 percent for inpatient general acute care services in Middlesex County, New Jersey, the transaction was presumptively unlawful and would have resulted in higher prices and lower quality of care for New Jersey residents.”