Public Policy

AOA responds to tri-agency request for information on health care consolidation

By AOA Staff

05.21.24

On May 6, the AOA responded to a Request For Information (RFI) from the Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on the impact of health care consolidation. The letter states that while large, integrated health systems can enhance care efficiency and access to innovative technologies, many consolidation practices negatively impact care quality, access and physician burnout. The potential effects of private equity-backed acquisitions and mergers can also prioritize revenue over patient care. Several key points from this letter were provided directly from your feedback through our “Tell Your Story” campaign, which is why it is so important to stay engaged in our advocacy efforts. Our members reported challenges such as increased wait times, loss of access to primary care and disrupted patient-physician relationships due to practice closures and limited insurance networks.

The letter calls for stronger government action to address anti-competitive practices and financial incentives driving consolidation, including:

  • More stringent network adequacy standards
  • Enhanced oversight of private equity-owned entities
  • Reforms to physician self-referral regulations
  • Providing a stable, annual update to Medicare payment
  • Site-neutral payment policies and many more

Overall, the letter calls for systemic changes to ensure healthy competition and high-quality care in health care markets. The AOA is committed to representing the osteopathic profession and safeguarding patient care amidst ongoing consolidation trends.