FTC scrutinizes PA hospital merger

The Federal Trade Commission has asked for more information on a $120 million merger between a money-losing charity hospital and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), slowing down what has already been a drawn-out process. Under the terms of the deal (which parties hoped would close last year), UPMC would take over Pittsburgh's Mercy Hospital. Mercy is not doing well on its own, having lost about $42 million over the past three years on its hospital and primary care operations. UPMC officials say that they can stabilize Mercy, a city institution which was opened in 1847. Meanwhile, rival West Penn Allegheny Health System is arguing that UPMC simply wants to drive competitors out of business. The FTC, as well as the state Attorney General's office, are studying the merger to see if it would indeed have an anticompetitive impact on the region.

To find out more about the proposed deal:
- read this piece from The Associated Press