Analysis highlights flaw in medical mergers

Today the New York Times took a look at medical practice and hospital mergers to help determine if the quality of care is worth the increases in costs. The analysis asserts that the use of what is known as an integrated delivery system (I.D.S.) is spreading but, according to the commentary, “…the evidence suggests that an I.D.S. doesn’t always improve patient care and keep costs down…”

The Times piece goes on to say, “Other research that examined 15 nationally prominent integrated delivery systems found no meaningful differences in the quality of care provided by their flagship hospitals, compared with their main competitors. And it turned out that the I.D.S. hospitals were more costly.”

Hospital and healthcare system mergers and acquisitions were supposed to create efficiencies and bring costs down. However, as this piece outlines, multiple recent studies have concluded that consolidation of medical providers leads instead to higher prices for patients.

Policymakers need to concentrate on legislative and regulatory solutions that ensure decreases in healthcare costs, instead of relying on methods that do the opposite. This is why The Business Council opposes measures such as S.4417-A (Murphy) / A.2888-A (Abinanti), which would exclude the Westchester Health Care Corporation from state antitrust laws in its contracts and arrangements with multiple providers.