Is consolidation in health care good for employers?
If the past is at all telling, further consolidation in the health care industry may portend serious issues regarding health care costs and the quality of health care in the future.
By Suzanne Delbanco|August 15, 2018 at 01:57 PM
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It seems that merger mania has taken hold of the health care industry. With talks between Cigna and Express Scripts and CVS Health and Aetna Inc., among others, consolidation has gotten the attention of many stakeholders. While these companies justify their unions by highlighting the efficiencies they will gain and the improvements that employers, other health care purchasers and their covered populations will experience, purchasers should remain skeptical.
Mergers and acquisitions in health care have occurred for decades. Provider organizations have been merging with or acquiring others for years, and so have health plans. What feels new lately is consolidation among health care entities with different types of businesses. Unfortunately, the evidence about the impact of past consolidation on purchasers is mixed and should raise questions for purchasers about more recent unions.
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