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4 healthcare antitrust issues to watch

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Brian Tucker / BioPharma Dive The past year has been ripe with antitrust activity in the health sector, with ripple effects likely to spill into the near future and beyond.

The Federal Trade Commission is poised to get even more aggressive in enforcement against anticompetitive deals in the years to come, legal experts told Healthcare Dive, while state legislatures are eyeing ways to increase scrutiny of mergers and acquisitions in their own backyards.

The FTC said last year it was expanding a program that helps it police future and already-consummated deals. And just last year the agency made its first challenge to a hospital tie-up after a three-year lull.

The FTC sought to block a hospital merger in Philadelphia, Jefferson Health’s proposed buy up of Albert Einstein Healthcare Network. The last such deal the FTC blocked was in 2017 when Sanford Health sought to acquire Mid Dakota Clinic, the FTC previously told Healthcare Dive. However, after losing its bid in court to stop the Jefferson Health deal, the FTC will no longer seek to block it, the agency confirmed Monday in its case summary.

Amid that backdrop, Biden’s nominee for the nation’s top health regulator, Xavier Becerra, could also be a factor. […]

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