UC Hastings Law Professor Tim Greaney spoke before a Senate Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights about ways competition in health care markets can be improved.
Greaney told the Senate Committee on Wednesday, June 12 that “it is especially appropriate that this subcommittee take a close look at the consolidation trends in health care because mergers have contributed significantly to the high cost of care in this country.”
He argued that while the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Justice and State Attorneys general have successfully challenged horizontal mergers of hospitals, physicians and insurers after a string of unchallenged horizontal mergers in the 1990s resulted in extensive local hospital market concentration, a similar litigation vacuum might be occurring with vertical mergers today.
“Guidance concerning vertical merger law is sorely needed,” Greaney said in his testimony.
“The merger process is opaque: outsiders can gain only limited information about settled cases from complaints or competitive impact statements. Hence, mandated fuller closing statements, and perhaps requiring post-merger reviews of outcomes should be considered to increase the flow of information,” he continued.
Greaney, a health law and antitrust expert, has previously testified as an authority before the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives, the FTC, and the Senate. He is the distinguished senior fellow with the UCSF/UC Hastings Consortium on Law, Science and Health Policy as well as the co-author of the nation’s leading health law casebook, Health Law: Cases, Materials and Problems. He has authored a treatise and hornbook on health law. And, he has published more than 60 articles and chapters concerning antitrust law, and health care law and policy.