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Alex Kacik is the hospital operations reporter for Modern Healthcare in Chicago.
Aside from hospital operations, he covers supply chain, legal and finance.
“They haven’t hit peak levels yet, but it’s getting there.” Conversely, the need for healthcare consolidation was famously summarized by Kenneth Davis, MD, president and CEO of Mount Sinai Health System in New York City, in a Sept. “The fear that mergers curtail competition, leading to higher prices for medical care, reflects an old way of thinking that doesn’t account for the introduction of population-health management,” Davis wrote.
Medicare beneficiaries who experienced a heart attack had a 1.46 percentage point higher chance of dying within one year of treatment if they were treated by a hospital that faced few potential competitors, research shows.
“I haven’t heard of something like this happening absent a divestiture required by the Federal Trade Commission or the courts—the trend is certainly toward consolidation and acquisition,” Feyman said.
“So this is certainly bucking the trend, but I don’t expect this to be a new trend taking off.” Hospital consolidation is promoted as a means to achieve increased efficiency, improved care coordination, and lower costs though economies of scale.
The jump was even more significant for the state's biggest hospital chains, where the price for average admissions increased from ,183 to ,606, or 113%."As large corporations gobble up facility after facility, it appears that caring at a human level is being lost," said Martine Brousse, a patient advocate in Santa Monica, Calif., who negotiates fee reductions with providers.
Providers are less willing to make a deal as they grow, she said.
The researchers also advocated for embracing provider licensure reciprocity across states and adopting policies promoting entry into Medicare Advantage markets.