Small, Piecemeal Mergers in Health Care Fly Under Regulators’ Radars
(from NY Times)
Federal officials are expected to argue in court starting Monday that a large hospital merger in the Chicago area could hurt consumers and should be stopped. It would be the latest in a series of efforts by regulators to push back against a wave of consolidation among major health care providers.
But a frenzy of smaller transactions is also profoundly changing the landscape, many of which face little regulatory resistance.
The deals are often for a couple of doctors here, or a hospital there, making them too small to attract much attention. But as those deals add up, they are creating groups that in some cases dominate local or regional markets. And they are raising questions about whether the gaze of antitrust officials is directed in the right place.