Healthcare workers were the heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic, and hospitals took on the burden of caring for the sickest patients. However, pressures from the pandemic will undoubtedly drive health systems and hospitals to merge—with unfortunate consequences for patients, Bloomberg’s editorial board recently wrote in an opinion article.
When hospitals and health systems merge, patients can get the short end of the stick. That’s because with less competition, prices actually tend to rise after these mergers, Bloomberg attested. Hospitals account for about one-third of the U.S. medical spend, which stands around $3.8 trillion per year, according to Bloomberg.
The issue has been so hotly debated that even Congress has looked into how mergers affect healthcare prices.
As healthcare providers merge, pricing pressures fall and prices rise. And the impact often falls on patients.
“For competition to work as it’s supposed to, transparency on prices is crucial,” the editorial board wrote.
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