The Federal Trade Commission’s approach to reviewing hospital mergers “is overbroad, does not properly credit the many pro-consumer benefits of hospital transactions, and ignores key realities of the marketplace,” according to an analysis submitted to the agency Friday for a series of FTC hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century. Performed for the AHA by Charles River Associates in conjunction with antitrust counsel at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, the analysis describes “serious flaws” in the supply and demand models that the FTC uses to evaluate the competitive effects of hospital transactions. “The Commission’s approach has substantial negative ramifications for U.S. consumers,” AHA said. “These include impeding the ability of hospitals and health care systems to develop more efficient platforms to care for tens of millions of Americans. The FTC’s approach also is placing hospitals at a serious disadvantage relative to the many new entrants to health care.”

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