Hospital Monopolies: The Biggest Driver of Health Costs That Nobody Talks About
According to a recent post on Forbes.com, the healthcare reform debate revolves around how we pay and sell healthcare and related physician services. Insurers can monitor and restrict physicians from over charging, but are less able to restrict the biggest predatory force in out healthcare system: hospital monopolies.
The article goes on to site Massachusetts and two large drivers of rising hospital costs in the Bay State: Romneycare, and Massachusetts General Hospital / Brigham and Women’s Hospital – Partners HealthCare. The hospital monolith could deny access to the beneficiaries of any insurer who dared not accept whatever they wanted to charge. The article further states:
“In 2008, the Boston Globe ran an important exposé on the “handshake that made healthcare history”: Partners’ secret agreement in 2000 with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, in which Blue Cross would give Partners more money, in exchange for Partners’ promise that they would demand the same rate increases from everyone else. The growth rate of individual insurance premiums in the state doubled.
Not everybody at Blue Cross wanted to roll over. Some company executives wanted to take a tougher stand. But Blue Cross knew that they would get blamed by politicians and the media if they took Partners on.”
Read more on this interesting post about hospital monopolies at Forbes.com