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  • Washington Highlights

    AAMC Submits Letter to FTC, HHS, and DOJ on Consolidation in Health Care Markets

    Gayle Lee, Director, Physician Payment & Quality
    For Media Inquiries

    The AAMC submitted a June 3 letter  to leadership of the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Department of Health and Human Services that shared information related to consolidation in health care markets (PDF) that could be used to inform further actions and priorities of the departments.

    The letter raised concerns with the growing presence of private equity in health care, describing how it has resulted in closures, negative impacts on quality of care, and reduced access to services. The letter highlighted that “it is important to distinguish private equity ownership from heath system partnerships, mergers, and joint ventures, which are voluntary combinations of two heath care delivery organizations and offer benefits by improving clinical care while preserving access to care in underserved communities and streamlining administrative processes.” In these instances, the purchasing provider organization views this type of purchases as a good addition to its clinical delivery enterprise, plans to hold it for the long term, and wants to continue the acquired entity’s ability to maintain patient access to high quality care. The letter also raised concerns with the significant increase in insurer consolidation, which can lead to the exercise of market power, harming consumers, and providers.

    In terms of recommendations, the letter emphasized the importance of policymakers better understanding the risks associated with private equity investment and creating policies that protect patients, the heath care workforce, and health care providers to ensure access to high quality care. It also urged policymakers to avoid establishing policies that deter health system mergers and acquisitions between health care providers that offer significant benefits to providers and the communities they serve.