FTC wants data on merging hospitals
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
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