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STATEMENT FROM AMERICAN HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION ON FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION REACTION TO CHALLENGE OF HOSPITAL MERGER IN UKIAH

 CHICAGO, Dec. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Fredric J. Entin, senior vice president and general counsel to the American Hospital Association, issued the following statement:
 In 1988, the Federal Trade Commission challenged a hospital merger in Ukiah, Calif., arguing that it violated antitrust laws and would be harmful to the interests of patients. The dismissal of the suit by an administrative law judge of the FTC is confirmation that collaborative arrangements between hospitals produce positive effects. After reviewing the merger's effects on patients and the community, Judge Lewis Parker noted that the facts belie the claim that competition among health care providers will give consumers the same benefits as competition in other industries. Competition existed before the acquisition, and it appears to have increased the cost of hospital care in the Ukiah area through duplication of services.' We have been saying it is highly unlikely that hospitals will raise prices after a merger because of the pervasive control over prices by government and other payors. We applaud Judge Parker for recognizing this in his decision and for assessing community needs outside an antitrust vacuum.
 -0- 12/18/92
 /NOTE: For a copy of "Hospital Collaboration: The Need for an Appropriate Antitrust Policy," a report issued by the AHA, call the contact below./
 /CONTACT: Donna Gaidamak of the American Hospital Association, 312-280-6129/


CO: American Hospital Association ST: Illinois, California IN: HEA SU:

KD -- DC032 -- 0045 12/18/92 15:08 PST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 18, 1992
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