The Federal Trade Commission sued to block two separate hospital mergers, it announced today. The FTC will sue to block the announced merger between HCA Healthcare and Steward Health Care System (Utah) on the grounds that it would lead to higher prices and reduced quality. HCA in a statement to Modern Healthcare said that the FTC has misread the pro-competitive potential of this transaction by ignoring outpatient migration patterns and "completely ignored that the market is dominated by two different major health systems."
FTC also said it would sue to block RWJBarnabas Health and Saint Peter’s Healthcare System (N.J.), also on the grounds that it would lead to higher prices and reduced quality. In a statement, RWJBarnabas Health and Saint Peter’s Healthcare System said, “We are most disappointed... for the people of New Jersey – especially those who reside in our most vulnerable, chronically underserved communities – who will be denied access to the complex care only provided by premier academic medical centers.”