Further investigation needed into 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. 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). The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has come to the conclusion that further investigation is needed into the effects of this planned merger in the markets for geriatric-rehabilitation care and post-acute rehabilitation services.
Further investigation needed into geriatric-rehabilitation care and post-acute rehabilitation services
With regard to geriatric-rehabilitation care and certain elements of post-acute rehabilitation services, these three care providers may obtain a strong position in the municipalities of Oosterhout and Dongen and their surroundings. The merger may thus have an effect on prices, quality, and innovation of these services in this region. ACM will investigate whether or not this is the case, and that is why it has imposed a merger license requirement.
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.
What are the next steps in the investigation?
If these health care providers wish to merge, they will have to apply for a license. ACM will then assess whether, after the merger, sufficient incentives will remain to work more efficiently, to improve quality or to innovate. For example, ACM’s assessment will look at to what extent other providers of geriatric-rehabilitation care and post-acute rehabilitation services in, for example some of the larger cities in Noord Brabant that are nearby, are alternatives for clients of the new health care provider. In any case, in its follow-up investigation, ACM will conduct interviews with health insurers, GPs of clients of geriatric-rehabilitation and post-acute rehabilitation service providers, as well as other geriatric-care providers in that region, asking questions about the possible effects of this planned merger.