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It’s an old saw: Competition is good for everyone. In health care, competition can be good for those who are paying the bills. But just how good is competition at holding prices down?

A Health Affairs study that looked at the average prices for common procedures in areas of high and low physician practice concentration produced a range that was telling: “In 12 of the 15 procedures, prices were 8 percent to 26 percent higher in counties with the highest average physician concentration compared to counties with the lowest average concentration,” Heath Affairs reported.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.

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