Health systems that employed doctors and made market-share gains raised prices 2% to 3%, according to an analysis of market-share shifts and price changes between 20. Laurence Baker, a professor of health research and policy at Stanford University and author of the study, said the results suggest savings from employing physicians won't be “easy or automatic.” Insurers lose bargaining power when hospitals and doctors jointly negotiate prices, said Dr.
Systems are striking deals that deliver larger scale, more leverage and more diverse business lines that executives contend are needed to manage increased insurance risk and reduce wasteful fragmentation.
Mergers in highly concentrated healthcare markets can raise prices, which hits consumers with higher premiums, higher cost-sharing and slower wage growth, he said.
Experts say the trend among health systems to acquire physician practices also has the potential to raise prices.
But consolidation also carries the risk of reducing competition and raising prices.
“The problem is, coordination and competition are kind of antithetical,” said Mark Pauly, a professor of healthcare management at the University of Pennsylvania.
The wave of dealmaking has attracted regulators' scrutiny.In January, a federal judge agreed with the Federal Trade Commission's argument that Boise-based St.