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FTC, state regulators oppose Penn State Hershey, PinnacleHealth merger

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The Federal Trade Commission has notified Penn State Milton S. Hershey (Pa.) Medical Center and Harrisburg, Pa.-based PinnacleHealth System it intends to oppose the planned integration of the two health systems.

Regarding the FTC's plan to block the deal, the two health systems released a joint statement saying, "We are extremely disappointed the FTC does not share the enthusiasm of the many employers, community leaders, private physicians, commercial insurance providers and others who have recognized the benefits of our integration and demonstrated their broad support for it."

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane also opposes the merger. The Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General said it will join a complaint for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction the FTC will file Dec. 9 to block the deal.

"We have learned the hard way in Pittsburgh what happens when a health system has a large market share," said Ms. Kane.

According to the complaint that will be filed, the merged entity would control approximately 64 percent of the hospital market in Dauphin, Cumberland, Perry and Lebanon counties, "likely leading to increased healthcare costs and reduced quality of care for more than 500,000 local residents and patients."

Penn State Hershey Medical Center and PinnacleHealth announced their merger plan in June.

More articles on healthcare industry transactions:

Calif. AG conditionally approves sale of 6 nonprofit hospitals to hedge fund
Kaiser to acquire Group Health in $1.8B deal: 5 things to know
25 hospital transactions and partnerships in November

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