More hospital competition linked to lower insurance premiums

When it comes to healthcare, competition likely is good for the consumer, according to a report published in the Antitrust Health Care Chronicle. Specifically, patients who live in areas with many competing hospitals were found to have substantially lower premiums than those who lived in areas of highly consolidated healthcare markets, according to a study conducted in California. "The results imply that policies should be pursued to protect and invigorate hospital competition through, at a minimum, appropriate antitrust enforcement and possibly through other means," wrote study author T. Scott Thompson, Ph.D., of Bates White Economic Consulting, adding that "Proposed hospital consolidation should be scrutinized carefully to ensure that competition is protected and that patients and payers are unlikely to suffer from price increases." Report