Some consolidation in the very fragmented market for health care in the US is necessary to increase care coordination and integration of health care and drive efficiencies. However, as in any market, excessive consolidation by providers, manufacturers, insurers and others can lead to consumers paying higher prices than in markets with sufficient competition. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforces and has authority to assure sufficient competition and challenge mergers on antitrust grounds. For more information on the FTC and health care, please visit the FTC site.
The Affordable Care Act includes provisions that encourage providers to join together, called Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), to deliver care more efficiently and effectively. However, providers who join together and do not truly transform care but use their joint leverage to raise prices raise antitrust concerns.
Federal Judge Blocks Aetna and Humana Merger
Recently, U.S. Federal District Court Judge John Bates blocked a proposed merger between Aetna and Humana.
FTC May Fight on After Court Loss in Pennsylvania Hospital Merger
Recently, a federal district court judge ruled against the FTC’s motion for an injunction to stop a proposed hospital merger between Penn State Hershey Medical Center and PinnacleHealth System that, if combined, would control more than 64% of general acute care in the area surrounding Harrisburg, PA.
FTC Announces that Pay-for-Delay Deals Are on the Decline
According FTC data, deals between brand name and generic drug manufacturers to delay generic market entry in exchange for compensation are on the decline.
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Numbers You Need – Delivery Reform
Find key statistics relating to health care delivery reform.