Sep 17, 2019

Most hospital markets are highly concentrated

Salt Lake City, where Intermountain is based, is highly concentrated. Photo: George Frey/Getty Images

Almost three-quarters of metropolitan areas had highly concentrated hospital markets in 2016, reflecting an era of rapid consolidation among hospital systems, according to a report from the Health Care Cost Institute.

Why it matters: The more hospitals that have monopolies or oligopolies in their markets, the higher the prices are for patients, which is reflected in the premiums everyone pays.

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Hospitals are getting into the housing business

Hospitals have discovered that it's not only better for patients' health if they have somewhere to live, but it's also often cheaper for the hospital to provide housing than a long inpatient stay, USA Today reports with Kaiser Health News.

The big picture: Hospitals across the country are looking at ways to address homelessness, including building their own housing units.

Go deeperArrowOct 3, 2019

Small and large hospitals continue merger race

Anne Arundel Medical Center in Maryland is merging with a local hospital. Photo: Anne Arundel Medical Center

The hospital industry isn't just consolidating among the titans. Deals are happening frequently at the local level, too.

Why it matters: Smaller hospital deals are just as important as large system mergers because local market power is paramount in health care — people usually get care close to where they live. A combined entity reduces competition, which could give it the upper hand in negotiations with commercial health insurers in its area.

Go deeperArrowOct 4, 2019

Industry pushes back on proposed hospital price transparency rule

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Comments on the Trump administration's proposed rule requiring the disclosure of negotiated hospital prices reveal the ongoing battle between the hospital industry and patient advocates, Wall Street Journal reports.

Between the lines: The industry is fiercely protective of negotiated rates and adamantly opposes the administration's proposal.

Go deeperArrowSep 30, 2019