Federal Judge OKs FTC’s Bid To Pause Hackensack-Englewood’s Merger

A US district court has granted the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) a preliminary injunction halting the proposed merger of Hackensack Meridian Health and Englewood Health.

The deal, first announced in late 2019, would place three of Bergen County, New Jersey’s six inpatient general acute care hospitals under the control of the state’s largest healthcare system.

The FTC filed an administrative complaint challenging the merger in December 2020. In it, the regulator argued that the proposed deal would eliminate competition in New Jersey’s most populous county and allow Hackensack Meridian Health to demand higher rates from payers.  

“This acquisition would give the combined hospital system increased bargaining leverage, likely leading to increased prices,” Ian Conner, then-director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, said at the time. “The transaction would also remove the competitive pressures that have driven these hospitals to invest in quality improvements to the benefit of patients.”

Read More: FTC Challenges Hackensack Meridian Health’s Buy Of Englewood Healthcare

Englewood Health comprises the 352-bed Englewood Hospital, its physician network and a charitable foundation. The organization staffs nearly 3,800 employees and reported US$818.6 million in total revenue during 2020.

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