U of Pittsburgh gets DOJ information request

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has just disclosed that it got a request for competitive information last summer from the U.S. Department of Justice. The request, which didn't name any potential violations, covered several prior years. The DOJ is asking for information on health insurance and hospital services in the Pittsburgh metro, including potentially anti-competitive agreements. This is the second such request made to UPMC in recent months--in March of this year, a Federal Trade Commission investigation nearly stalled a then-pending merger between UPMC and Mercy Hospital.

Hospital officials have said that the request didn't surprise them much given the nasty competitive battles brewing in the region. This includes some loud complaints over the Mercy merger, which has been challenged strongly by competing West Penn Allegheny Health System. (West Allegheny itself got a DOJ "civil investigative demand" for competitive information in January.) They also note that the proposed merger of Highmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield (Pittsburgh) and Independence Blue Cross of Philadelphia has raised concerns in many quarters over health market consolidation in the state.

To learn more about the investigation:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece

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