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Hackensack Meridian's proposal to acquire Englewood Health draws support

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The American Hospital Association and the Association of American Medical Colleges jointly filed a "friend of court" brief in the U.S. District Court in Newark, N.J., in favor of Hackensack Meridian Health's proposed acquisition of Englewood (N.J.) Health, northjersey.com reported Oct. 5.

The New Jersey Hospital Association, African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey and a group of five economists also filed briefs in support of the acquisition.

This comes after the Federal Trade Commission delayed the deal in December, saying it would allow Edison, N.J.-based Hackensack Meridian to charge higher prices from insurers and create higher costs for insurance plan members. It also said mergers reduce competition and innovation.

But those in favor of the deal contend that mergers benefit consumers and want the FTC's decision reversed. 

In the acquisition deal, Hackensack would invest $400 million in new operating rooms, expand cardiac facilities and outpatient sites for Englewood physicians, and take on Englewood's $182 million debt.

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