Businessmen with bows and arrows When it comes to preventing monopolistic behaviors by corporations in the health care sphere, federal and state agencies have been asleep at the switch.

Although the benefits world has been focused on consolidation among carriers, providers and pharmacy groups, other areas of health care are also seeing market domination by a handful of players. The consolidation of market share in industries such as medical device manufacturers, medical supplies and health care services are surely significant factors in rising health care costs for employer-sponsored health plans, yet much of it has happened under the radar.

In a recent report, “America’s Concentration Crisis,” the Open Markets Institute outlines many areas of health care that are now dominated by just a few companies. “Growing monopoly power in the health care sector contributes significantly to the high prices, poor quality, and lack of access that millions of Americans experience when interacting with the health care system,” the report says. The report adds that for both consumers and employers, some large companies may produce numerous brands and products lines, but control of the markets remain in the hands of just a few players.

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