Commonwealth of Virginia
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ATTORNEY GENERAL HERRING OPPOSES ANTICOMPETITIVE HOSPITAL MERGER
~ Herring files amicus brief urging the Third Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold a preliminary injunction barring the hospital merger and highlighting the preservation of access to affordable healthcare ~
RICHMOND – Attorney General Mark R. Herring has joined a bipartisan coalition of 26 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief urging the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold a lower court's decision that temporarily stopped a merger of hospitals in New Jersey that would have reduced competition between hospitals and resulted in anticompetitive effects on the community.
"Access to quality, affordable healthcare should always be the top priority,” said Attorney General Herring. "Everyone should have options when they are looking for healthcare providers, which is why I share concerns that the merger of these two hospitals could reduce the options available and have anticompetitive effects in their communities. I am urging the Third Circuit to uphold the lower court's temporary injunction because it's so important that communities are able to provide available, reasonably priced healthcare options for their citizens.”
In the brief, Attorney General Herring and his colleagues state that the merger at the center of the case, Federal Trade Commission v. Hackensack Meridian Health, Inc. and Englewood Healthcare Foundation, is part of a trend. States have a strong interest in ensuring the availability of affordable and accessible quality healthcare for their citizens. This interest is best served by protecting vibrant competition in local healthcare markets. States have experienced a wave of consolidation in healthcare that has resulted in higher prices without any substantial improvements in quality for consumers.
Attorney General Herring's brief points out the importance of preserving local access to healthcare services for consumers. It asserts that the lower court correctly and properly analyzed the merger under the antitrust laws and applied the right economic models. It also emphasizes that the lower court's decision is consistent with the Third Circuit's decision in FTC v. Penn State Hershey Medical Center, which applied the same economics model and determined the merger of Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Pinnacle Health was unlawful under the antitrust laws. The Third Circuit remanded that matter back to the district court to grant a preliminary injunction requested by the FTC and the Pennsylvania Attorney General.
Joining Attorney General Herring in filing today's brief are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Guam, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New Hampshire, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington, and Wisconsin.
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