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Coming Federal Guidelines on Cross-Market Mergers, National Abortion Pill Ban & More

October 06, 2023 (1 min read)

Federal Cross-Market Merger Guidelines in Works

The Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice are currently reviewing public comments on draft guidelines for cross-market mergers, including those in the healthcare sector, such as the planned merger by the end of this year of Saint Luke’s, the second-largest health system in Kansas City, Missouri, and BJC HealthCare, the largest health system in St. Louis.

Over half of the hospital mergers and acquisitions during the past decade have been cross-market deals, and 60% of health systems now operate hospitals in more than one geographic market. Such deals can increase patient costs. Researchers have found that cross-market merged hospitals in the same state raised prices 7-10% more than other hospitals.

In Missouri state officials could still intervene. Attorney General Andrew Bailey (R) is reviewing the merger and must approve it in order for it to close. (KFF HEALTH NEWS)

U.S. House Republicans Propose National Abortion Pill Ban

A bill (HB 5806) introduced in the U.S. House would prohibit chemical abortions. The measure, with 18 Republican sponsors as of late Thursday (10/5), comes on the 23rd anniversary of the abortion drug mifepristone—now the most common form of abortion nationwide—receiving FDA approval. (POLITICO, STATE NET)

Major Worker Walkout at Kaiser Permanente

Over 75,000 Kaiser Permanente support staff, lab technicians and other workers began a three-day strike last week after failing to reach a new contract agreement with the health system, which serves over 13 million people in eight states. Union leaders said it might be the largest healthcare worker strike in recent U.S. history. It also marks a shift in the health system’s relatively trouble-free relationship with its workers. (NEW YORK TIMES)

—Compiled by SNCJ Managing Editor KOREY CLARK

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