Healthcare consolidation has followed the airline model
Regarding the article “Monopolized healthcare market reduces quality, increases costs” (ModernHealthcare.com, April 13), this hypothesis is clear and correct, no different than what consumers have faced with the consolidation of the airline industry—higher prices, unbundling of costs for incremental revenue, and less choice, creating a downward spiral of dissatisfaction.
Not only have we never achieved real cost savings nor improved quality from hospital combinations, costs have actually increased as competitive markets shut down. As hospitals played Pac-Man with community physician practices, how much did costs increase due to the hospitals’ outpatient and ancillary charges by including all that excessive hospital overhead? Just look at the cost increases after community oncology practices were brought back inside the hospital, negating their operational and expense efficiencies.
Also, how many health systems have violated the intent of the 340B drug program to maximize revenue by avoiding true cost containment and operational efficiencies? The board of directors and/ or ownership should be held legally culpable for tolerating such non-compliance, as well as for the myths of consumer economic benefits.
M.E. Singer Chicago