Provider consolidations drive up prices, experts say

10/4/2013 | Boston Globe (tiered subscription model), The

Continued consolidation of hospitals and private practices threatens to further drive up health care prices and spending, experts said at a Massachusetts Health Policy Commission hearing. Prices are often based on market leverage instead of quality, Attorney General Martha Coakley and others said. Hospital consolidation and hospital purchases of private practices has created a system of "must-have" providers that insurers must include in their networks but also increases prices, said Paul Ginsburg, president of the Center for Studying Health System Change.

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