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Bloomberg: Big Hospitals Are Getting Bigger, Pushing U.S. Prices Higher

HCCI's Hospital Concentration Index was featured in a report in Bloomberg. 

From the article: 

"The report relied on a measure commonly used in antitrust analysis that gauges how concentrated a market is based on the market share of competitors. It measured only the market for inpatient admissions, so it doesn't reflect other services such as outpatient clinic visits or imaging.

By that measure, competition could diminish as hospitals close or merge. It could also be influenced by where patients choose to go, or how insurance networks steer them into certain facilities.

The group analyzed data from 4 million insurance claims for inpatient hospital stays between 2012 and 2016 from national health insurers including UnitedHealth Group Inc., Humana Inc. and CVS Health Corp.'s Aetna unit. The report did not have data on all markets.

The most concentrated metro areas in 2016 were Springfield, Missouri; Peoria, Illinois; and Cape Coral, Florida. The most competitive markets were New York; Riverside, California; and Philadelphia.

While the Health Care Cost Institute report doesn't show that increasing market concentration causes price increases, it found a correlation between price and competition. It's consistent with other research that shows shrinking competition leads to higher prices."

Read the story here.