A State-Sanctioned Hospital Monopoly Raises Concerns

Controversial legislation in some states has allowed hospital mergers that create monopolies, despite the Federal Trade Commission’s belief that competition is beneficial for the economy. The creation of Ballad Health in Tennessee and Virginia resulted in a state-sanctioned hospital monopoly, leading to issues like longer wait times in emergency rooms. Critics argue that such mergers can jeopardize access to quality healthcare. The legislation allowing these mergers, known as a certificate of public advantage (COPA), has been criticized by the FTC for protecting mergers that would otherwise be illegal. Efforts to limit COPAs in Tennessee have been unsuccessful.

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