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The Benefits of Hospital Mergers

By Tom Nickels
November 8, 2017

An article in today’s Politico suggests hospital mergers are having an adverse impact on health local markets and is leading to substandard care and higher prices. But the most recent research on the subject tells a far different and less sensationalist story. A study of recent hospital mergers – those occurring between 2009 and 2014 – shows they result in significant cost savings and quality improvements.

A study by economists at Charles River Associates earlier this year found... read more

Topic: Access and Coverage
Tag: mergers

Hospital mergers can be a key to meet patients' needs and improve care

By Rick Pollack
January 27, 2017

Rapid change in the health care field has led hospital leaders to search for new ways to reduce costs, increase the quality of care, and preserve access to care, so they can continue to meet their patients’ needs. For some hospitals, mergers may be the right path to meet these goals. This week the AHA released a new study finding that hospital mergers result in significant cost savings and quality improvements. The study, prepared by economists at Charles River Associates, found... read more

Topic: Advocacy and Public Policy
Tags: acquisitions, consolidation, mergers, clinical integration, care coordination, antitrust

A Victory for the Future of Health Care

By Rick Pollack
July 22, 2016

The Department of Justice got it just right when it focused its challenge to Anthem’s acquisition of Cigna and Aetna’s acquisition of Humana on the harm to quality and innovation in health care. DOJ echoed the exact arguments we made repeatedly before antitrust officials, Congress and others about how these mega-deals threatened consumers. The proposed deals would have reduced the number of commercial health insurance giants from five to three – just three companies covering nearly... read more

Topic: Advocacy and Public Policy
Tags: acquisitions, consolidation, mergers

Tackling Outdated Regulatory Barriers that Impede Health Care Transformation

By Melinda Reid Hatton
July 5, 2016

A new report released today examines some of the most detrimental legal barriers that hospitals and physicians face whenever they try to work together to transform the delivery of patient care. Unquestionably, these barriers impede the hospital field’s efforts to move from a payment system based on volume to one that rewards value.  That is because the legal framework that controls the ability of hospitals and physicians to work together, and with their patients, is firmly stuck in... read more

Topic: Advocacy and Public Policy
Tags: consolidation, mergers, clinical integration, antitrust

Missouri's Block of Aetna-Humana Merger is Good for Consumers

By Allied Hospital Association
May 26, 2016

The following post is written by Herb B. Kuhn, President and CEO of the Missouri Hospital Association and Jane Drummond, General Counsel and Vice President of Legal Affairs of the Missouri Hospital Association.

This week, Missouri’s Department of Insurance announced it would block the merged Aetna and Humana from selling key lines of health insurance in the state because the combined organization would wield excessive market power. It was an important decision for providers and... read more

Topic: Access and Coverage
Tags: acquisitions, consolidation, mergers, Coverage, access, antitrust

Paper 'throws cold water' on cross-market theory of hospital merger effects

By Melinda Reid Hatton
April 7, 2016

A new paper throws cold water on an untested theory about the impact hospital realignment has on competition when the combining hospitals are far apart. The paper points out at least half a dozen possible flaws in the new theory ranging from fuzzy geographic markets to the lack of credit the authors give to increases in consumer value from realignment. The paper notes, “It is common for [hospital] systems to invest significantly to improve quality at newly acquired... read more

Topic: Advocacy and Public Policy
Tag: mergers

SMARTER Moves for the FTC

By Rick Pollack
March 25, 2016

The Standard Mergers and Acquisitions Review Through Equal Rules (SMARTER) Act passed the House on Wednesday. This represents real progress on legislation that the AHA actively supports. The act would align the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) merger review with that of the Department of Justice (DOJ) by eliminating FTC’s ability to use its own administrative tribunal to challenge a merger – it would have to go to court just like DOJ. This would remove costly and unfair regulatory... read more

Topic: Advocacy and Public Policy
Tags: mergers, clinical integration, antitrust

Lack of Competition is Not Good For Consumers

By Melinda Reid Hatton
March 1, 2016

Today in a letter to the Department of Justice (DOJ) the AHA raised concerns about the proposed Anthem acquisition of Cigna focusing on the impact of Anthem’s affiliation with the Blue Cross Blue Shield System.

The letter states:

“Previous investigations also suggest that increased Blue plan market power will raise, not lower, premiums to consumers. We would expect that same impact on premiums in any state with a dominant or near-dominant Blue plan that gains any additional... read more

Topics: Access and Coverage, Advocacy and Public Policy
Tags: acquisitions, consolidation, mergers, access, antitrust

Complex Care Found at Facilities Affiliated with Hospitals and Health Systems

By Erik Rasmussen
February 29, 2016

A recent study that claims cancer care is more expensive because hospitals are employing more physicians is misleading and does not consider all of the facts. 

The study had several problematic areas. While it accounts for changes in the general rate of inflation, there is no indication that the authors accounted for the dramatic increases in the price of cancer and other drugs that have been noted in Congressional hearings, on the campaign trail and by plans and consumers. In... read more

Topic: Access and Coverage
Tags: mergers, site neutral payment, price, care coordination

A New Coalition Voices Opposition to Health Insurance Deals

November 13, 2015

A new coalition of consumer advocates, employers and others today announced their opposition to the proposed health insurance deals between Aetna/Humana and Anthem/Cigna.  The Coalition to Protect Patient Choice echoes what the AHA has been saying:  That the consolidation of these companies will make health care less accessible and more expensive for consumers.  The coalition notes “Today, there are only five national competitors – UnitedHealth, Anthem, Cigna, Aetna and Humana.... read more

Topic: Access and Coverage
Tags: consolidation, mergers



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