Originally published in Law360, New York (September 27, 2012, 2:13 PM ET)
California’s attorney general has recently launched a broad investigation into whether increasing consolidation among hospitals and physician groups may result in supracompetitive prices for medical care, according to several media sources. This investigation reflects increased scrutiny by antitrust regulators on a nationwide basis of rapid consolidation among the health care industry, which, in large part, has recently been motivated by the federal Affordable Care Act, an act that encourages efficiency and higher quality through coordination of care among different groups of providers.
The California attorney general has issued subpoenas to several large hospital systems in California, including Cottage Health System in Santa Barbara, Dignity Health in San Francisco, Sutter Health in Northern California, and Scripps Health and Sharp HealthCare in San Diego.
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