Chicago – Attorney General Kwame Raoul announced the Illinois House of Representatives on Friday passed his legislation to increase oversight of health care transactions, namely mergers and acquisitions that include health care facilities and large provider organizations, which can lead to higher prices for health care services while quality of care worsens or remains stagnant.
“Increasing oversight of proposed health care mergers and acquisitions is a positive step toward ensuring every Illinoisan has access to quality health care services in their neighborhood,” Raoul said. “This important legislation will give my office timely notice to better assess whether action is needed to protect the public from health care facility mergers that lessen competition. I look forward to continuing our work in the Illinois Senate.”
Raoul’s measure – contained in House Bill 2222 – would ensure proposed health care facility mergers are reviewed at the state level. State-level review is vital, as many mergers are not scrutinized at the federal level due to a failure to receive timely notice of the transaction or because the merger is too small for federal action. While the Attorney General’s office currently works with the federal government to review large-scale transactions, state-level review would fill current gaps that allow mergers to occur without review.
Specifically, House Bill 2222 would:
House Bill 2222 is sponsored in the Illinois House by State Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz.
“The cost of healthcare is already a strain, and sometimes an impossibility, for far too many families in Illinois. Increased competition in a marketplace leads to better outcomes for consumers – and at some point in our lives, we are all consumers of healthcare,” said Rep. Gong-Gershowitz. “This legislation ensures that the Attorney General has sufficient notice of healthcare mergers and acquisitions so that these transactions can be reviewed for any potential antitrust violation – and keep healthcare costs for consumers down. This bill puts patients and everyday people ahead of Wall Street investors.”
House Bill 2222 will next head to the Illinois Senate for consideration.