Support the Keep Our Care Act and safeguard community access to quality affordable care.
Mergers and acquisitions between health care entities like hospitals, hospital systems, and provider organizations are prolific across the country and in Washington State. These consolidations have been shown to negatively impact cost, quality, and access to necessary health care services. Yet in Washington, these health entity consolidations receive minimal oversight, allowing large health care systems to dictate patients’ access to care, including reproductive, end-of-life, and gender-affirming care.
Every Washingtonian deserves access to affordable, quality health care regardless of their identity, zip code, or medical needs.
What would the Keep Our Care Act Do?
The Keep Our Care Act would ensure health entity mergers, acquisitions, and contracting affiliations improve rather than harm access to affordable quality care within a community. The bill includes:
- A prohibition on health entity consolidations that diminish access to affordable quality care.
- Attorney General oversight, compliance, and enforcement power to ensure health entity consolidations do not negatively impact access to health care services;
- A health equity assessment so that health entity consolidations address the needs of marginalized communities; and
- Community input through public notification of proposed consolidations and the opportunity for public hearings and comment.
Why is the Keep Our Care Act Needed?
- Mergers and acquisitions drive up costs for patients.
- Mergers and acquisitions do not improve the quality of care.
- Washington has seen recent consolidations restrict access to critical health care services – including reproductive
and end-of-life care. Consolidations can also result in restrictions and barriers in access to gender affirming care.
- Oversight is needed to hold big health systems accountable.
- Uninsured and underinsured individuals are disproportionately harmed when health systems do not prioritize community needs.
- Mergers and acquisitions can exacerbate systemic inequities.
- Rural communities deserve better.
- Washington must join other states in protecting communities’ access to care.
code, or medical needs.