Does hospital consolidation increase prices or efficiency?

An article in Bloombusinessweek (September 11,2014) describes Partners Healthcare in Boston that is responsible for 28% of physician and hospital visit dollars in Massachusetts and that has seen a 60% increase in prices charged compared to competitors. The company now owns several hospitals and coordinates across them to enable efficiency. But this efficiency has increased market power and prices rather than decrease costs. How should the market be structured so that efficiency is passed on as lower costs? Should hospitals be required to use third party information providers to standardize data so that it is easy for patients to switch providers ? Should prices for procedures be made public to enable comparison ?

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About aviyer2010

Professor
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