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March 2, 2020

Around the nation: FTC seeks to block Albert Einstein, Jefferson Health merger

Daily Briefing

    Government officials claim the proposed merger between Albert Einstein Healthcare Network and Jefferson Health could "lead to higher costs for patients," in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Utah.

    • Ohio: Nationwide Children's Hospital plans to open a new children's behavioral health hospital on March 10 that will treat and diagnose developmental and behavioral health issues in kids. The $159 million facility, called Big Lots Behavioral Health Pavilion, will include a psychiatric crisis department and a 12-bed crisis stabilization area for intensive mental health care (Filby, Columbus Dispatch, 2/28).

    • Pennsylvania: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) are seeking a temporary restraining order to block a proposed merger between Albert Einstein Healthcare Network and Jefferson Health, claiming the merger would reduce competition in Philadelphia and Montgomery County and could "lead to higher costs for patients." Jefferson and Albert Einstein in a statement said they plan to "review the challenge to better understand [the officials'] position and how to best move forward" (Commins, HealthLeaders Media, 2/27).

    • Utah: Intermountain Healthcare has established the first opioid-free surgery program in Utah. The program, which Intermountain tested with more than 250 surgeries over three months, includes using non-opioid pain medications, regional anesthesia, and long-acting anesthetics in place of opioids. The program also involves training patients in alternative pain management techniques. Patients can request to use the opioid-free surgery program at the hospital (Vaidya, Becker's Hospital Review, 2/27).

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