Feb 14, 2019

Study: Physician consolidation doesn't improve health care

Hospitals have been buying up physicians' practices at a record clip. But Modern Healthcare flags a new study that found the quality of care isn't improving as a result.

Details: The study compared doctors who were employed by the hospital where they practiced against doctors who contracted with their hospitals.

  • There was no difference in readmission rates between the two groups, and they performed equally well on 21 out of 29 specific quality measures.
  • It is not the first study to reach this conclusion.

Furthermore, hospitals in highly concentrated markets received lower satisfaction scores from their patients.

  • "There are less incentives to keep patients happy when they don't have a competitor down the road to go to," Marah Short, the study's lead author, told Modern Healthcare.

The bottom line: All this consolidation doesn't appear to be improving quality — and it's not lowering costs, either.

Go deeper: Hospital mergers don't really lower some costs

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Bloomberg denies telling a pregnant employee to "kill it"

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images.

Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg on the debate stage Tuesday denied telling a former employee to terminate her pregnancy.

Catch up quick: Per the Washington Post, a former saleswoman has alleged workplace discrimination against Bloomberg and his company and says Bloomberg told her to "kill it" when he learned she was pregnant. Bloomberg denied the allegation under oath and entered a confidential settlement with the woman.

Debate night: Candidates' last face-off before Super Tuesday

Sanders, Biden, Klobuchar and Steyer in South Carolina on Feb. 25. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders wants to keep his momentum after winning New Hampshire and Nevada, while former Vice President Joe Biden hopes to keep his own campaign alive. The other five candidates are just trying to hang on.

What's happening: Seven contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination are in Charleston, South Carolina, for the tenth debate, just days before the South Carolina primary and a week before Super Tuesday. They're talking about health care, Russian interference in the election, the economy and race.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 8 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Sanders to Putin: You won't interfere in any more elections if I'm president

Sen. Bernie Sanders sent a message to Russian President Vladimir Putin on the debate stage Tuesday, stating, "If I'm president of the United States, trust me, you're not going to interfere in any more American elections."

The big picture: It was unveiled last week that Russia has been interfering to boost Sanders' campaigns in an apparent attempt to strengthen President Trump's bid for reelection. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that "Vladimir Putin thinks that Donald Trump should be president of the United States, and that's why Russia is helping [Sanders] get elected.