FTC Temporarily Pauses HCA Healthcare Acquisition Deal
By Consumers for Quality Care, on June 29, 2022
HCA Healthcare’s deal to acquire Steward Health Care System’s five hospitals in Utah has been halted after a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order, according to Healthcare Dive.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleges that a merger between HCA Healthcare and Steward Health Care System would minimize competition. The FTC argues that competition between the two systems has resulted in reduced rates, upgraded facilities, and improved services. The agency also said that the merger would allegedly eliminate Steward as the low-cost provider in the region, giving HCA greater bargaining power that would demand higher rates from commercial insurers.
CQC urges lawmakers and regulators to continue to scrutinize consolidation deals in the health care sector, as they can lead to higher prices and a reduction in quality of care for consumers.