Regulators Aim to Crack Down on Cross-Market Hospital Deals

Hospitals, buoyed by stabilized finances, have resumed a robust level of transactions. Those deals have drawn more frequent antitrust action by the Biden administration and many state governments, which view hospital mergers and acquisitions as an omen of high health care prices — and augur tough rate negotiations for health insurers.

An increasing number of those transactions involve so-called “cross market” partnerships, in which hospitals from different markets — and often different states — tie up to avoid antitrust scrutiny from state regulators. State antitrust officials often have more leeway to block hospital transactions, since federal regulators are not allowed to investigate either most intrastate deals or interstate deals with combined revenues of under $111 million.

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Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson

Peter has worked as a journalist since 2011 and has covered health care since 2020. At AIS Health, Peter covers trends in finance, business and policy that affect the health insurance and pharma sectors. For Health Plan Weekly, he covers all aspects of the U.S. health insurance sector, including employer-sponsored insurance, Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage and the Affordable Care Act individual marketplaces. In Radar on Drug Benefits, Peter covers the operations of (and conflicts between) pharmacy benefit managers and pharmaceutical manufacturers, with a particular focus on pricing dynamics and market access. Before joining AIS Health, Peter covered transportation, public safety and local government for various outlets in Seattle, his hometown and current place of residence. He graduated with a B.A. from Colby College.

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