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House passes health care merger notification bill. Concerns over business data persist

The Indiana Statehouse on a winter day.
Lauren Chapman
IPB News
Senate Bill 9 is a result of recommendations from the Health Care Cost Oversight Task Force.

House lawmakers passed a bill Tuesday that requires hospitals and other “health care entities” to notify the attorney general if they have a merger or acquisition that crosses a $10 million threshold.

The attorney general can then do an antitrust review, but would not have the authority to approve or deny the merger or acquisition.

SB 9 is a result of recommendations from the Health Care Cost Oversight Task Force. Rep. Ryan Hatfield (D-Evansville) approved the recommendations while on the taskforce, but opposed the measure.

He said the bill “cherry picked” a recommendation from the list rather than addressing Indiana’s high health care costs in a comprehensive way.

“We didn't provide one cent in health care savings to Hoosiers,” Hatfield said. “This bill does nothing more than send private information from private businesses to the government for them to have first.”

READ MORE: Attorney general’s office could receive notification for health care mergers under new bill

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A House committee amended the bill to require that the information in the notification is sealed.

The House passed the measure 60-35. The bill now goes back to the Senate – which previously approved the bill unanimously. The Senate can send the current version on to the governor or take it to a conference committee for further work.

Abigail is our health reporter. Contact them at

Abigail Ruhman covers statewide health issues. Previously, they were a reporter for KBIA, the public radio station in Columbia, Missouri. Ruhman graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism.