Buoyed by Federal Covid Aid, Big Hospital Chains Buy Up Competitors
The pandemic barely dented the financial outlook for some major networks, which continued to acquire weaker hospitals and ailing doctors’ practices. Critics worry consolidation leads to higher prices for medical care.
By Reed Abelson
Billions of dollars in Covid aid cushioned financial losses caused by the pandemic at some of the nation’s largest hospital chains. But those bailouts also helped sustain the big chains’ spending sprees as they expanded even more by scooping up weakened competitors and doctors’ practices.
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