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AG Stein Statement on Hospital Consolidation and Pricing

For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today released the following statement after Cone and Sentara announced that they will not move forward with their affiliation:

“Recently in North Carolina, there has been a wave of hospital consolidations – HCA and Mission, Novant and New Hanover, Wake Forest and Atrium – and I have real concerns about this trend. Bigger doesn’t always mean better. In fact, it often means worse and more expensive. My office takes its role in scrutinizing proposed combinations seriously, and we were in the midst of conducting a thorough review of the Cone/Sentara affiliation. I encourage all hospital directors to be certain that consolidation is actually in the interest of the patients and communities they serve before pursuing it.

“Hospital system pricing is closely related to this issue, as consolidations drive up already inordinate health care costs. Today, I am asking every hospital system administrator about the transparency of their prices and their compliance with federal pricing transparency regulations. As the letter says, patients have been forced to navigate the health care system with little, if any, information about the actual price of services they are told are necessary. That’s not only unacceptable, it’s against the law.”

A copy of the letter to hospital administrators is available here.


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