Hospital mergers may be bad for our health and our wallet according to the NY Times.
The trend toward hospital mergers has been accelerating nationally. In NJ, the Horizon Omnia network accelerated mergers by placing small hospitals in tier 2, making them more expensive and hurting them financially. Other predatory practices by insurers nationally have resulted in mega networks that have resulted in higher healthcare costs.
There may be another side effect of large population health based chains that may adversely affect your health according to the NY Times.
Hospital chains have been claiming for years that larger chains will improve the delivery and quality of healthcare. The NY Times is now suggesting the opposite is true. They are reporting that studies show that rates of mortality and of major health setbacks grow when competition falls.
Like any business, incentives often drive what these businesses do, and the incentives for money and market dominance may be the wrong incentives for a more cost effective and safer hospital system.
Check out the NY Times article below
Hospital Mergers Improve Health? Evidence Shows the Opposite
The claim was that larger organizations would be able to harness economies of scale and offer better care.
By Austin Frakt Feb. 11, 2019
Many things affect your health. Genetics. Lifestyle. Modern medicine. The environment in which you live and work.
But although we rarely consider it, the degree of competition among health care organizations does so as well.
Markets for both hospitals and physicians have become more concentrated in recent years. Although higher prices are the consequences most often discussed, such consolidation can also result in worse health care. Studies show that rates of mortality and of major health setbacks grow when competition falls.
This runs counter to claims some in the health care industry have made in favor of mergers. By harnessing economies of scale and scope, they’ve argued, larger organizations can offer better care at lower costs.