Hospital mergers focus of new resource guide

Communities facing loss of women's reproductive health services due to hospital mergers may want to consider a new guide published by the National Women's Law Center in Washing ton, DC.

Almost 40% of the 5,200 non-federal hospitals in the United States have been involved in some type of affiliation in the past three years. (For more information on these mergers, see Contraceptive Technology Update, February 1998, pp. 23-25.) As hospitals battle for market share and continued financial stability, affiliations between religious and secular organizations are becoming increasingly commonplace, often threatening such services as tubal sterilizations and abortions.

The guide, Hospital Mergers and the Threat to Women's Reproductive Health Services: Using Antitrust Laws to Fight Back, offers practical advice on how to present a challenge to such mergers. It includes an explanation of applicable antitrust laws, a sample letter to be used to contact antitrust enforcement authorities, and a list of state attorney general offices in all 50 states.

To order copies, contact the Center at 11 Dupont Circle NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20036. Telephone: (202) 588-5180. Fax: (202) 588-5185. Copies of the guide are $15, including shipping and handling (DC residents include 5.75% sales tax); copies of the executive summary are free of charge. Checks should be made payable to National Women's Law Center; all orders must be pre-paid.