FTC wants data on merging hospitals
Five health insurers and two hospital systems have until January to send patient billing data, salary data and other information to the Federal Trade Commission as part of a study looking into hospital merger reviews.
Why it matters: The FTC has been skeptical of so-called "certificates of public advantage" — policies that some states adopt as a workaround to approve hospital mergers while avoiding federal antitrust scrutiny.
- Obtaining data will give federal officials a better idea whether deals approved via these mechanisms better serve the public, or the merging hospitals.
In the crosshairs: Ballad Health and Cabell Huntington Hospital, two systems that both completed controversial mergers. Aetna, Anthem, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee, Cigna and UnitedHealthcare also have to fork over data.
- Modern Healthcare published a multi-part series on the controversies surrounding Ballad Health.
Go deeper: A reality check on hospital mergers