Penn State Hershey, PinnacleHealth will fight FTC to merge

Ayla Ellison (Twitter) - Print  | 

The Federal Trade Commission and the Pennsylvania Attorney General are trying to block a merger between Penn State Milton S. Hershey (Pa.) Medical Center and Harrisburg, Pa.-based PinnacleHealth System, and the two health systems intend to wage a legal fight to try to push the deal through.

Penn State Hershey Medical Center and PinnacleHealth announced their merger plan in June. Last week, the FTC and Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane objected to the proposed integration of the two health systems.

In the complaint opposing the transaction, the FTC and the attorney general said the merged entity would control approximately 64 percent of the hospital market in Dauphin, Cumberland, Perry and Lebanon counties, which would likely lead to increased healthcare costs and reduced quality of care for local residents.

However, Penn State Hershey and PinnacleHealth disagree and said they are going to fight for this merger in their response to the government agencies' complaint, according to a PennLive report.

"The integration of the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and PinnacleHealth makes good sense for patients, employers and our community and we intend to prove it in federal court," said A. Craig Hillemeier, MD, dean of Penn State College of Medicine, CEO of Penn State Health and Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, and Penn State's senior vice president for health affairs, according to the report. "As one health system, we can better provide patients with the highest quality care, in the most appropriate setting at the lowest possible cost. Our integration also provides a powerful platform to produce future generations of healthcare providers and make discoveries that improve health."

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