Associated Press Published

Public Comments on Hospitals' Merger Overwhelmingly Negative

Cabell-Huntington Hospital

None of the 18 letters sent to the West Virginia Attorney General’s office recently were in favor of a proposal to merge two Huntington hospitals.

News outlets report that during the 10-day comment period, which ended April 18, all of the comments, including one from the Federal Trade Commission, expressed concerns over Cabell Huntington Hospital’s proposed acquisition of St. Mary’s Medical Center.

The comments argued the merger would create a monopoly, thereby eliminating competition in Huntington and leading to higher prices.

The West Virginia Health Care Authority and Attorney General Patrick Morrisey are now tasked with weighing the potential loss of competition with the benefits that hospital officials say the merger will bring to the community.

The authority and Morrisey have until June 8 to issue a written decision.