Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Report details dangers of hospital consolidation, especially YNHH and L&M
new report by a coalition of labor and consumer advocacy groups including the CT Health Policy Project, calls for caution and more study before the state approves pending hospital consolidations. Concentration in CT’s health care system is being driven by new, untested shared savings payment reform models being adopted in Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance plans. CT already suffers from a highly concentrated hospital market, with the fourth highest health care costs in the US but lagging quality. Twenty years ago all CT hospitals were independent, but if pending mergers across the state are approved, 80% of inpatients will be cared for in large, multi-hospital systems. The report highlights Yale-New Haven’s proposed acquisition of L&M’s hospital system and “slow motion” takeover of Milford Hospital facilities and functions. This consolidation, if approved, would further consolidate the market in CT’s currently most concentrated market. Studies find that consolidations in already concentrated markets can raise prices by 20%. The authors urge policymakers to study the impact of current mergers, determine the impact on prices, access and quality of care, and develop protections to ensure value and protect consumers.