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FTC sues to block Jefferson Health-Einstein Healthcare merger

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The Federal Trade Commission will sue to block the merger of Philadelphia-based Jefferson Health and Einstein Healthcare Network, a deal that has been pending since 2018.

The FTC said that the combination of the two systems would reduce competition in both Philadelphia and Montgomery counties. 

"Jefferson and Einstein have a history of competing against each other to improve quality and service," the FTC said. "The proposed merger would eliminate the robust competition between Jefferson and Einstein for inclusion in health insurance companies’ hospital networks to the detriment of patients."

The FTC said that with a combination, the two parties would own at least 60 percent of the inpatient general acute care service market around Philadelphia and at least 45 percent if that same market in Montgomery County.

The commission said it will seek a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction to prevent the deal from moving forward. 

"We believe we have presented a strong and comprehensive case as to how the merger would benefit the patients we serve and advance our academic mission without reducing competition for healthcare services. At a time when regional and national politicians and leaders are seeking ways to better support essential safety net hospitals, we see this merger as a creative solution to preserve access and enhance services to the residents of North Philadelphia," a joint statement from the two health systems read.

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