News Headlines Article

A warning on hospital mergers: After California allowed big chains to grow, prices soared
Los Angeles Times

The debate over hospital mergers traditionally has focused on whether allowing hospitals within a local community to merge drives up prices in that community. A new study from the University of Southern California sounds a much louder alarm.

The study found that the domination of the state’s hospital segment by two big systems, Sutter Health and Dignity Health, not only drove up prices everywhere their institutions were located but allowed even nonaffiliated hospitals to charge more. That’s a warning for policymakers at the federal level and in many states, where hospital mergers are on the rise.