Oregon ASC Association argues against proposed bill to limit M&A

The Oregon Ambulatory Surgery Center Association gave a written testimony arguing against a proposed bill requiring sign-offs on mergers and acquisitions between some healthcare entities.

Under HB 2362, the Oregon Health Authority would be required to approve healthcare mergers and acquisitions and affiliations with at least $25 million in net patient revenue over the past three years. Deals where an entity would boost its net patient revenue by at least $1 million would also need a sign-off.

The Oregon ASC Association, which represents 90 ASCs in Oregon, argued the bill would add additional costs to small and medium-sized businesses.

"There is little evidence that we have seen that indicates that the type of expansive, government-focused review and regulatory system proposed in HB 2362 will reduce costs to consumers," according to a testimony from lobbyist Doug Riggs on behalf of the group.

The testimony also pointed to the struggles ASCs faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. The testimony said before the pandemic, partnerships and mergers were common for ASCs to expand services and improve efficiency.

"As many ASCs are struggling to recover from the 20, 25 or even 30 percent drop in revenues in 2020, now is not the time to impose additional costs on Oregon's small and medium size businesses," the testimony said.

Portland-based public interest advocacy group OSPIRG advocated for the bill, saying it would increase transparency and "conscientious decision-making" in healthcare consolidation in a Feb. 9 written testimony.

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