Federal, state regulators oppose health system merger

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A federal consumer protection agency says it will oppose a merger between two rival central Pennsylvania health care systems.

The Federal Trade Commission informed the Harrisburg-based PinnacleHealth System and Hershey-based Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center that it will oppose a merger that would transform them into one organization known as Penn State Health.

The health systems say in a joint statement they are "extremely disappointed" with the agency's decision. They say integrating the systems is in the best interests of their patients and would allow for better services and lower costs.

The office of the Pennsylvania Attorney General also opposes the merger, saying they've seen a similar merger in Pittsburgh. Attorney General Kathleen Kane says the move would increase health care costs and reduce the quality of care.

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