The latest deal for Atrium will still need regulatory approval from the Federal Trade Commission.
Richman said he would expect some concerns about the consolidation to be raised at the regulatory levels, though Atrium spokesman Dan Fogleman said the organization is hopeful regulatory approval will come this year.
“This will certainly not fall through the regulatory cracks,” Richman said.
And NC Attorney General Josh Stein has previously voiced concern about the trend toward hospital consolidation.
“Too often, when one hospital swallows up another, patients end up paying more and getting worse care,” Stein said in a February statement.
But in early 2021, Stein told Atrium Health and Wake Forest Baptist Health he would not oppose the combination.
“This deal marks an important step forward in helping to train and prepare the next generation of physicians, many of whom will stay and practice in our state,” Stein said at the time. “If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it is that way we need smart, dedicated and well-trained medical professionals to provide health care.”
North Carolina State Treasurer Dale Folwell opposed the combination in a statement Wednesday, calling the proposed new system a “six-state medical behemoth.”
He called for a “vigorous examination” of the combination from the state Attorney General’s Office, the FTC and the U.S. Department of Justice. “More mega-mergers are the wrong prescription for the health care industry,” Fowell said in the statement.©2022 The Charlotte Observer. Visit at charlotteobserver.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.