A New York Times article came out today highlighting how hospital mergers result in higher healthcare prices to patients, based on research and analysis conducted by UC Berkeley’s Nicholas C. Petris Center. While hospitals claim that consolidation would save consumers money, the opposite is true due to reduced competition resulting from the consolidation. In addition to continued consolidation of hospitals across the country, the article suggests there is a growing trend of large hospital systems buying up doctors’ groups and medical practices. According to Richard Scheffler, Director of the Petris Center and The Source Advisory Board member, the negative impact on prices is more pronounced in such cases due to existing large market shares of those hospital systems.
As the nation remains fixated on prescription drug prices and how they affect the American public, state and federal regulators should look at how hospital mergers lead to higher healthcare prices for consumers. The Source follows the issue closely on the Enforcement page and will continue to bring the latest developments and analyses on the Source Blog (see Litigation and Enforcement Highlights).