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Merging of healthcare providers in California has led to big rise in costs

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c1210 (Published 03 March 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c1210
  1. Bob Roehr
  1. 1Washington, DC

    A main assumption in reforming the matrix of independent healthcare providers in the United States has been that consolidation would lead to more rational, efficient, and therefore less costly care. That has not proved to be the case in California.

    A new study from the non-profit Center for Studying Health System Change has found that consolidation has given providers “a stronger bargaining position over health plans, leading in turn to higher insurance premiums” (Health Affairs, doi:10.1377/hlthaff.2009.0715).

    The researchers conducted 300 semi-structured interviews in six areas—Fresno; Los Angeles; Oakland and San Francisco; Riverside and …

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