FTC resolves high-profile IL hospital antitrust dispute

The FTC has ruled that a pair of healthcare organizations based in Illinois will need to contract with managed care plans separately to win the agency's final approval for their merger. The combined entity, Evanston Northwestern, could have been broken up, but the FTC decided not to take that course. The organizations, Evanston Northwestern Healthcare and Highland Park Hospital, merged in 2000. Last year, the FTC affirmed an administrative law judge's decision that concluded that Evanston's acquisition of Northwestern was anticompetitive.The agency noted that prices rose 50 percent or more in certain cases after the merger, while prices at Highland Park had only risen 4 to 6 percent for many years prior to the merger. Evanston had contended, however, that the price increases occurred only because Highland Park had done poorly in managed care negotiations prior to the deal.

To learn more about the FTC decision:
- read this Chicago Triune piece

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