COPA Hospital Mergers Take Heat From FTC, State Regulators

Law360 (June 18, 2019, 7:43 PM EDT) -- The head of the Federal Trade Commission said Tuesday he’s skeptical of the Certificates of Public Advantage programs, state mechanisms that let local hospital mergers move forward without federal oversight, garnering support from two state antitrust regulators at an agency workshop who agreed the process can be abused. 

Under state COPA laws, states can greenlight local hospital mergers if the parties show certain public benefits would be gained from the combination. If approved, the tie-up is immune from federal oversight, and states are in charge of regulating the newly merged entity for a preset period of time.

While the scheme's stated goal is...

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