Biden anti-competition order, potential price hikes could complicate Beaumont-Spectrum merger

While a proposed merger between Southfield, Mich.-based Beaumont Health and Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Spectrum Health is awaiting regulatory approval, President Joe Biden's anti-competition order could sow complications for the consolidation.

Signed July 9 and including 72 actions, the executive order aims to drive national competition among a variety of sectors, including healthcare. 

With increased scrutiny of healthcare mergers and potential effects on state costs for payers and patients, healthcare business analyst Allan Baumgarten said the merger is likely to see some sort of antitrust resistance from regulators, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The Free Press reports that mergers like the Beaumont-Spectrum consolidation typically result in higher healthcare prices through both premiums and deductibles. 

However, the merger doesn't include geographic overlap or closures, and a statement from Spectrum noted the move would improve coverage, especially in rural Michigan.

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