Hearing Underway on Proposed Health Care Merger in Dakotas
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A hearing is underway on a move by the Federal Trade Commission and the North Dakota Attorney General's Office to block the proposed merger of Dakotas-based Sanford Health and Bismarck's Mid Dakota Clinic.
Regulators filed a federal complaint in June, saying a merger would violate antitrust law. They want a judge to stop it until a formal FTC hearing later this month in Washington.
The health care entities dispute that a merger could lead to higher costs for consumers. They say the regulators' arguments ignore market dynamics.
The Bismarck Tribune reports that a four-day hearing began Monday in Bismarck.
Sanford Health was formed in 2009 when South Dakota-based Sanford merged with North Dakota-based MeritCare. Sanford now bills itself as one of the largest health systems in the nation.
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