Chicago – Attorney General Kwame Raoul applauded the Illinois General Assembly’s passage of 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.
“Currently, many health care mergers and acquisitions are not reviewed at the state or federal level. Without proper review, these transactions can lead to diminished options for individuals who are already struggling to access health care services in their communities,” Raoul said. “I appreciate the General Assembly’s passage of this legislation that will give my office more tools to protect Illinoisans from proposed mergers that lessen competition and increase health disparities.”
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 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 gaps that allow mergers to occur without review.
Specifically, House Bill 2222 would:
House Bill 2222 is sponsored in the Illinois Senate by State Sen. Ann Gillespie and in the Illinois House by State Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz.
"By requiring timely notice of mergers and acquisitions and establishing a state-level review process, we are safeguarding the interests of our residents,” said Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights). “This legislation empowers the Attorney General's office to investigate and challenge practices that could harm the public or compromise quality of care. Together, we can ensure that health care services remain affordable and accessible for all Illinoisans."
“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 now head to the governor for final approval.