STAT+: In North Carolina, a small hospital deal poses big antitrust questions

Hospital systems are turning to cross-market mergers to satiate their thirst for growth and avoid antitrust heat. But hospitals are also still signing other lower-profile deals, which experts believe inevitably lead to higher insurance premiums and create more medical bill stress for people in those communities.

“Smaller mergers just don’t get the attention they deserve because they affect fewer people,” said Vivian Ho, a health economist at Rice University who studies hospital consolidation.

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