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NC hospital mergers accelerating, raising concerns

Winston-Salem Journal / Charlotte Observer, May 2, 2013

Patients in Smithfield, Clayton and High Point will soon see the words "UNC Health Care" on signs advertising their local hospitals. Patients in Alamance will see changes too, as Alamance Regional Hospital gets folded into the Cone Health System. Across North Carolina – and the country – small, community-based hospitals say they are building partnerships with larger health care systems as a way to help offset rising medical costs and to better navigate changes under the Affordable Care Act. But the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice contend that some of these hospital consolidations violate antitrust laws, causing some proposed hospital mergers in North Carolina to come under increased scrutiny.