More on Hospital Monopolies

See previous posts here here, and here. This is Roy Avik at Forbes

While Romneycare is one large driver of rising costs in the Bay State, an equally large driver has been the 1993 merger between two eminent Harvard-affiliated hospitals, Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. With the two most prestigious hospitals in the state locking arms, insurers were hosed. The new hospital monolith, Partners HealthCare, could deny access to the beneficiaries of any insurer who dared not accept whatever they wanted to charge. After all, who would want to be on an insurance plan that didn’t have access to the two most prestigious hospitals in Boston?

In 2008, the Boston Globe ran an important exposé on the “handshake that made healthcare history”: Partners’ secret agreement in 2000 with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, in which Blue Cross would give Partners more money, in exchange for Partners’ promise that they would demand the same rate increases from everyone else. The growth rate of individual insurance premiums in the state doubled.

Comments (4)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Linda Gorman says:

    And in 1994, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Wisconsin brought suit against the Marshfield Clinic for allocating market, fixing prices, and blocking entry into health care in its geographic area. In December 1994, the U.S. District Court affirmed the jury decision that the Marshfield Clinic had violated the Sherman Act.

    Unfortunately, The U.S. Court of Appeals of the 7th Circuit overruled the Court of Appeals in October 1995.

    As long as one calls it “integrated care” monopolies are just peachy. Needless to say, insurance rates in the Marshfield Clinic area were higher than in areas with less integrated care and more competition.

  2. Devon Herrick says:

    In the late 1990s and 2000s the reason hospitals consolidated into regional health care systems is to gain leverage against insurers. Insurance is part of the financial industry. Insurers can operate from almost be anywhere from the standpoint they pay claims rather than provide a brick & mortar service. Hospitals, on the other hand, are the ultimate in brick & mortar. There are large barriers to entry in the hospital industry. Hospitals must have infrastructure and a medical staff. Hospitals that merged were able to create cartels which could raise fees — knowing half the hospitals could not be excluded from an insurers’ network. Independent hospitals had an incentive merge (or at least cede management control) since being the only independent hospital in an area dominated by large hospital systems would make it hard to compete.

  3. Neil H. says:

    This White House doesn’t believe in competition. That’s why they are promoting monopoly.

  4. Andreas says:

    5. com’s report. This is what professionals do. Working with an
    SEO expert in your country can help as SEO experts within
    the same country generally know how to optimize websites for a specific country’s audience more effectively. It’s so important because once customers begin seeking your product or service you
    will want to have favorable words making your search results optimized.
    The algorithms are not known publicly, but one thing is certain, is the search engine websites that the
    information is relevant to the purpose of the preferred site.
    The tips are as follows:-. The thing that needs to be emphasized is to create text of your website in such a way that the algorithms find them easily.
    The businesses have understood the need to take SEO services for
    attaining good search engine placement. Over the years, web promotion has made a mark in the industry and has helped numerous entrepreneurs to build large
    business return through web. organic search, frequency of blog posts,
    frequency of on-page optimization, the relative importance of links, the use of social media, the best way to measure results, etc.
    The concepts make use of the current social networking sites, which are very popular among the online audience.
    Now, if it takes you three years to referrer 3000 members which means that you
    receive US$3000 per month. You can Google maps link for your website, which will be very helpful if any person search in images sections.
    In this article, I will show you the best Word – Press SEO plugins you need to use in order to boost your
    search engine rankings and get more traffic to your blog.

    Why. With most visitors noting the first 3-5 web links of the
    first page, further sustained SEO efforts bring the company
    web link to that web positioning high up as much
    as possible. Keep in mind that Google doesn’t really like page rank
    manipulation, even if it’s internally on your site or externally
    by backlink spamming. The internet has become an integral part of our lives that according to the latest statistics, almost 1 billion Americans access the internet.
    November 2012.

    Here is my web page :: Milagros