Research / BFI Working PaperMay 13, 2024

Is There Too Little Antitrust Enforcement in the US Hospital Sector?

Zarek Brot-Goldberg, Zack Cooper, Stuart V. Craig, Lev Klarnet

From 2002 to 2020, there were over 1,000 mergers of US hospitals. During this period, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) took enforcement actions against 13 transactions. However, using the FTC’s standard screening tools, we find that 20% of these mergers could have been predicted to meaningfully lessen competition. We then show that, from 2010 to 2015, predictably anticompetitive mergers resulted in price increases over 5%. We estimate that approximately half of predictably anticompetitive mergers had to be reported to the FTC per the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act. We conclude that there appears to be underenforcement of antitrust laws in the hospital sector.

More Research From These Scholars

BFI Working Paper Jan 11, 2021

The Behavioral Foundations of Default Effects: Theory and Evidence from Medicare Part D

Zarek Brot-Goldberg, Timothy Layton, Boris Vabson, Adelina Yanyue Wang
Topics:  Health care
BFI Working Paper Jan 18, 2023

Rationing Medicine Through Bureaucracy: Authorization Restrictions in Medicare

Zarek Brot-Goldberg, Samantha Burn, Timothy Layton, Boris Vabson
Topics:  Health care