Market consolidation in California

Yesterday, I discussed the idea of managed competition in California.  One of the original tenets of managed competition was insurers having integrated, mutually exclusive provider networks.  This would mean much more consolidation on the provider side.  While this could improve quality, there is also a risk that prices could rise.  In fact, this is what…

Do hospital purchases of physician practices increase or decrease prices?

The effect of health care industry consolidation on prices is a question argued about by many including researchers, economists, anti-trust, lawyers, regulators and more.  There is evidence that health plan consolidation increases premiums, and hospital consolidation increases price. For instance, Dafny et al. 2015 writes: The harsh reality is that it’s difficult to find well-documented…

The Effect of Hospital Consolidation on Prices and Quality

An interesting report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation summarizes the literature describing the effect of hospital concentration in a market on prices and quality.  The general consensus from the literature is the following: Increases in hospital market concentration lead to increases in the price of hospital care Hospital mergers in concentrated markets generally lead…