Hospitals and medical systems are increasingly merging with or buying competitors, potentially driving up health care prices as they gain negotiating power over payers, experts say. "The rhetoric is all about efficiency. The reality is all about higher prices," said AHIP President and CEO Karen Ignagni. Some 20% of U.S. hospitals are likely to seek mergers within the next five to seven years, Booz & Company analysts say.
Published in Brief: