A PYMNTS Company

N. Carolina Lawmakers Want UNC Health Extempt From Antitrust Laws

 |  May 2, 2023

North Carolina legislators are considering measures to provide Chapel Hill’s UNC Health with increased immunity from federal antitrust laws, as the organization seeks to expand its reach within the state.

The state Senate passed legislation on May 1 that classifies UNC Health system an agent of the state. This designation permits the system to merge or acquire healthcare facilities or providers without considering their impact on market competition.

The proposed legislation would exempt UNC Health from federal antitrust laws and prevent state attorney general scrutiny of any mergers and acquisitions due to the actions being taken on behalf of the state.

Read more: US: Atrium, UNC Health call off merger talks

According to a spokesperson for UNC Health, the organization was established by state law in 1998 to improve the health and well-being of North Carolinians. However, the statute has not been updated in 25 years despite significant changes in the healthcare industry. To ensure that UNC Health can continue fulfilling its mission as the state’s health system and adapt to the evolving healthcare landscape, modernization of the statute is necessary.

The bill would allow UNC Health to establish retirement and health benefits programs for its employees, and it will be further discussed in the House of Representatives.