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Hospitals have been merging and acquiring physician practices at a breakneck pace over the last several years. Hospital representatives argue they need to join forces in order to better share resources, such as expensive IT systems, and to coordinate care in the manner that the Affordable Care Act has encouraged. But the trend has drawn criticism from insurers, state attorneys general and federal antitrust enforcers, who warn that consolidation can also give hospitals monopoly power to drive up prices and hurt consumers.
Here are five things to know when you report on hospital mergers and efforts by antitrust officials to challenge them.
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