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ACM clears merger of three geriatric-care providers in the south of the Netherlands

Dutch health care providers Stichting Schakelring, Stichting De Riethorst Stromenland and Stichting Volckaert wish to merge. The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has now cleared this merger. These care providers offer nursing-home care and other forms of geriatric care in the south of the Netherlands (more specifically, in the central region of the province of Noord Brabant). ACM has carried out a further investigation into the effects of this merger in the markets for geriatric-rehabilitation care and post-acute rehabilitation services.

What are geriatric-rehabilitation care and post-acute rehabilitation services?

Geriatric-rehabilitation care is meant for elderly people who, for example after surgery, are unable to recover at home. The idea is that, afterwards, they will be able to live independently at home again, if possible. Post-acute rehabilitation services comprise of care and assistance for patients who, for medical reasons, are unable to live at home temporarily.

Investigation into choices of patients seeking geriatric-rehabilitation care and post-acute rehabilitation services

Patients and their relatives or caregivers strongly prefer health care locations in their own municipalities when seeking geriatric-rehabilitation care or post-acute rehabilitation services. Since the three providers in question are not active in the same municipalities with regard to these types of services, choices for many patients will not be reduced as a result of this merger. And for patients in municipalities without health care locations of any of these three providers, there are sufficient locations of alternative providers in the vicinity where they can go to. Health insurers, too, see that sufficient alternatives exist. Health insurers are thus able to continue to make solid arrangements about price, quality, and efficiency.

ACM’s merger control

Through its assessments of mergers and acquisitions, ACM contributes towards the affordability, accessibility, and quality of health care. In ACM’s assessments of mergers and acquisitions, the consequences for patients and insured are central. If patients and health insurers have sufficient options, it will help towards lower prices, higher quality, and more innovation in health care.