The healthcare industry’s position within the American mixed economy has a complicated history. Healthcare has historically received protections against American antitrust legislation and the standards used to enforce healthy competition within the industry. This has led to hundreds of mergers and acquisitions over the last 30 years. In the last decade, hospital consolidation growth slowed with renewed scrutiny coming from government bodies like the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice. However, the impact of these mergers and what they mean for the future of healthcare and the level of government involvement held therein is still widely unknown. As such, this paper seeks to define, what is the impact on patients and health systems as a result of these major mergers and acquisitions? Over 30 sources were compiled for this research that, in aggregate, represented over 150 journal entries, news articles, and long-term studies. The findings of the research indicate a negative impact of rising costs and poorer patient outcomes associated with the anticompetitive nature of mergers and acquisitions within the healthcare industry in the United States. These outcomes are contested by institutions like the American Hospital Association arguing the importance of cost distribution to limit organization risk in a volatile environment. More research is needed to understand how much hospitals and healthcare organizations should consolidate to ensure financial stability of systems without raising prices or worsening patient outcomes. Policy makers should take into consideration the need for competition within healthcare to assure price transparency, control and improved patient outcomes.
Reed, Brent S.
"The Impact of Hospital Consolidations: Who is Really Benefitting from M&A’s within Healthcare?,"
SPNHA Review: Vol. 16:
1, Article 8.
Available at: https://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/spnhareview/vol16/iss1/8