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Study: Hospital mergers don't improve quality of care

A person lays on a hospital bed in a dark emergency room.
Photo: Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Measures of patient satisfaction and clinical care at hospitals that have been acquired by other hospital systems either declined or did not significantly change, indicating there is "no evidence of quality improvement attributable to changes in [hospital] ownership," according to a new independent study conducted by economists and physician researchers.

The bottom line: Research has already shown hospital mergers, which have boomed over the past 20 years, raise prices. Analysis now shows, contrary to the hospital industry's assertions, that mergers also do nothing to make patient care better.

Go deeper: A reality check on hospital mergers