The Governor of Illinois recently announced the passing of House Bill 2222 by the Illinois legislature, introducing new antitrust legislation that requires advanced notification for ‘covered transactions’ between healthcare facilities and provider entities. This landmark legislation is seen as a major step forward in protecting patient rights in the state.
Under the new law, healthcare and provider organizations must now provide the Attorney General with advanced notification no later than 30 days prior to closing dates for any covered transactions, which is defined as any merger, acquisition or contracting affiliation between two or more healthcare facilities not previously under common ownership or contracting affiliations.
This new law further clarifies that it will also apply to all healthcare facilities, such as ambulatory surgery and kidney treatment centers. Moreover, if any of these transactions involve out-of-state facilities generating more than $10 million in annual revenues from patients in Illinois, the new law requires them to provide notice as well.
Illinois Governor, J.B. Pritzker, commented on the passage of the new bill stating, “This law ensures that Illinois healthcare providers are effectively supporting the interests of patients and fostering a transparent and competitive healthcare sector. It sends a clear message that we will protect patients from skyrocketing prices due to lack of competition and fair market conditions.”
The new legislation will impose civil penalties of up to $500 a day for any healthcare facilities that fail to provide proper notice. This new law is expected to ensure the protection of patients’ rights and is seen by many healthcare advocates as a much-needed step forward.