Pennsylvania AG has concerns about UPMC-PinnacleHealth affiliation

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The Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office expressed concern over the proposed affiliation agreement between Harrisburg, Pa.-based PinnacleHealth and Pittsburgh-based UPMC Thursday, according to Penn Live.

In a statement to Penn Live, the attorney general's office said it is "aware of the pending affiliation by UPMC of PinnacleHealth. Attorney General [Josh] Shapiro is concerned about the effect on consumers in the region and ensuring access to affordable and quality healthcare. We will scrutinize this transaction closely with that in mind."

Joe Grace, a spokesperson for the attorney general's office, also told the publication Attorney General Shapiro is similarly concerned about PinnacleHealth's proposed acquisition of four Pennsylvania hospitals from Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems. PinnacleHealth officials revealed plans Tuesday to purchase the hospitals from CHS, then pursue an affiliation with UPMC.

State officials expect both transactions to trigger a response from the Federal Trade Commission and the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office, according to the report.

The FTC has taken an aggressive stance on potential hospital or health system mergers or acquisitions that may result in antitrust concerns or raise prices for consumers. Last week, a federal judge granted the FTC an injunction to temporarily halt the proposed merger between Downers Grove, Ill.-based Advocate Health Care and Evanston, Ill.-based NorthShore University HealthSystem.

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