Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) Vice President Anne Schwagerl today testified before a joint hearing of the House Commerce and Health Committees.

The committees held the joint hearing to review proposed legislation that would add additional requirements before hospital mergers occur. Under the proposal, the health systems planning to merge must notify the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and allow the agency to review the proposed merger. After that review, which will happen in consultation with the Attorney General’s office, the department can approve, approve with conditions, or deny the merger. There are several states with merger review and approval processes similar to what is envisioned in this legislation. For example, the Rhode Island Attorney General denied a merger application in February last year under the state’s Hospital Conversions Act.

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