AHA presses for meeting with federal agencies as scrutiny of hospital deals ramps up
by Robert King | Aug 18, 2021
The American Hospital Association (AHA) wants to make its case to the Biden administration that hospital mergers are not negatively impacting prices or quality, asking for a meeting with key cabinet members on the issue.
The hospital advocacy group wrote a letter Wednesday to the leaders of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offering updated industry-funded studies on the impact of mergers. The letter comes more than a month after President Joe Biden signed an executive order calling for the DOJ and the FTC to review merger guidelines for hospitals.
“The fact is that most proposed hospital mergers present no competitive issues and offer real benefits for those communities,” the letter from AHA CEO Rick Pollack said.
AHA updated an earlier study of the impact of mergers on cost, quality and revenue outcomes for 2018 and 2019.
The study, conducted by Charles River Associates and funded by the AHA, found that hospital deals were associated with a “3.3% reduction in annual operating expenses per admission at acquired hospitals.”