Pa. joins feds in opposing Penn State Hershey, PinnacleHealth merger

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – State prosecutors are joining federal regulators in a lawsuit to block the proposed merger of Penn State Hershey Medical Center and PinnacleHealth System.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane said her office will join a complaint the Federal Trade Commission will file Wednesday in federal court in Harrisburg. The complaint seeks a temporary restraining order to prevent the health care systems from completing the merger.

In a statement, Kane said a combination of the two largest health systems in the greater Harrisburg area would create a dominant provider of hospital services. She said the merged entity would control approximately 64 percent of the market, likely leading to increased health care costs and reduced quality of care.

The complaint states that Pinnacle and Hershey view each other as close competitors. It says health plans have been able to use the threat of dropping one of the hospitals from their networks to extract price concessions.

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