Local Hospitals Get Closer To Merger

Local Hospitals Get Closer To Merger

A federal judge has cleared the way for a merger between Advocate Health Care and Northshore University HealthSystem.

The Federal Trade Commission had asked judge Jorge Alonso to block a merger between the two big Chicago area hospital systems, arguing that the merged entity could drive up prices.

But that seems unlikely to Vishnu Lekraj, who looks at health care for the financial-information company Morningstar. He sees this merger as part of a bigger story about Obamacare: the law was designed to push costs down. He says that’s forcing companies to become more efficient, sometimes by merging.

That’s the good news. The bad news, he says, is that lots of people will likely have fewer options.