Hospital mergers may drive up costs

The Boston Globe, October 4, 2013
The merger wave sweeping up Massachusetts hospitals and doctors threatens to increase health care prices and widen the payment gap between providers, according to warnings from industry leaders, health insurers, and regulators at a hearing Wednesday. Talk of consolidation dominated the second of two days of hearings convened by the state Health Policy Commission, which monitors cost trends and seeks to rein in the medical spending that has become a drag on businesses, families, and governments. Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said since 2010 her office has documented a "well-intentioned but dysfunctional" health care industry where prices are based on market leverage rather than quality of care.

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