Healthcare mergers boost costs, not quality

Hospital mergers and the monopolies they create are causing healthcare costs to rise without an accompanying improvement in quality, three experts argued Friday during a panel hosted by the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C.

"Finally the evidence is catching up with the reality that we have a humongous monopoly problem in health care," said Robert Murray, a consultant and former director of Maryland's hospital rate-setting commission.

If hospitals actually do have monopoly power, it is unlikely to be undone by the U.S. justice system, according to another panelist. "Once there's been a lot of consolidation it's very hard to undo," said Carnegie Mellon economist Martin Gaynor. "Unfortunately a lot of that has already occurred in the hospital sector." --Read the full FierceHealthcare article