UNC, Carolinas HealthCare propose mega-merger

Carolinas HealthCare System's flagship hospital in Charlotte, N.C. (Carolinas HealthCare)

Carolinas HealthCare System and UNC Health Care are planning to merge by the middle of next year, the two hospital systems said Thursday. The combined not-for-profit giant would own a medical school as well as numerous hospitals, clinics, outpatient centers and other facilities throughout North Carolina and South Carolina.

Why it matters: This is the biggest proposed not-for-profit hospital system merger so far this year, creating a regional behemoth with $14 billion of revenue that could exert large pricing power over health insurers. The UNC-Carolinas system would be one of the 15 largest health systems in the country by revenue — another step in the hospital industry's movement toward building up massive scale within a cluster of states.

Yes, but: There's no guarantee it will pass antitrust review.