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

Related Articles:
FTC scrutinizes PA hospital merger. Report
Case study: UPMC develops with vendors. Report
Community Health discloses DOJ scrutiny. Report
FTC uses leverage to step up antitrust scrutiny. Report

Suggested Articles

The profit margins and management of Community Health Group raise questions about oversight of managed care insurers.

Financial experts are warning practices about the pitfalls of promoting medical credit cards to their patients.

A proposed rule issued by HHS on Tuesday would expand short-term coverage, a move Seema Verma said will have "virtually no impact" on ACA premiums.