by Robert King | Jul 9, 2021
President Joe Biden issued a sweeping executive order Friday that presses the federal government to review and revise guidelines for hospital mergers that can lead to higher prices.
Biden also directed federal agencies to work with states to safely import prescription drugs from Canada and create new regulations that ban “pay for delay” agreements that stifle generic drug competition.
The directives were included in the executive order that aims to boost competition throughout all sectors of the economy. Biden though highlights several parts of the healthcare market that he says are reducing access to care.
Biden specifically called out hospital mergers that have “left many areas, especially rural communities, without good options for convenient and affordable healthcare service,” the order said. “Thanks to unchecked mergers, the 10 largest systems now control a quarter of the market.”
He added that consolidated hospital markets also tend to charge higher prices than more competitive markets.