Why hospitals mergers fail to improve care

Healthcare mergers and acquisition has been on a hot streak for a number of years, but not all hospital mergers end up achieving their stated goals. For instance, hospital mergers may actually increase prices rather than decrease them.

This means that what hospitals say and what they do is actually quite different, Robert Pearl, MD, a Stanford University professor, wrote in Forbes. In addition, there are three reasons why hospital mergers will “fail to improve American healthcare in the future,” according to Pearl.

Here are the three reasons:

  1. Cost containment isn’t a goal––promises to reduce waste and increase savings to payers simply aren’t true.
  2. Quality doesn’t improve without changes in care delivery––hospital consolidations don’t actually improve care delivery.
  3. Hospital revenues hurt by technologies to improve patient care––while new technologies like 3D-printed implants and robotic surgeries attract patients, they don’t actually improve care.

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