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AHA-backed antitrust bill could ease hospital mergers
Modern Healthcare

Healthcare industry leaders are closely watching a House-passed bill that could make it easier for hospitals to merge without getting tangled in lengthy antitrust challenges.

The American Hospital Association supports the Republican-sponsored bill, which passed the House late last month, arguing that it “removes a deterrent to hospital integration and realignment, which is essential for success in the changing health care landscape.”

But some legal experts say the bill wouldn’t make much difference in most hospital mergers, and that it isn’t likely to gain Senate approval or the president’s signature this year. It’s opposed by Federal Trade Commission chairwoman Edith Ramirez, who testified that the bill “would fundamentally alter a critical aspect of the agency’s institutional role and risks impeding its ability to protect American consumers and the public interest.”