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circle of pawns whose shadow makes one king There is ample opportunity for merged entities to engage in anticompetitive actions that disadvantage other market players, decrease options for consumers and drive health care spending higher.

Financial difficulties caused by the pandemic will fuel further consolidation in the U.S. health-care industry, two Commonwealth Fund executives believe.

“Waves of mergers and acquisitions among the players in U.S. health care have already led to higher prices, and there is little evidence that they have resulted in efficiencies, reduced costs and better care coordination,” Lovisa Gustafsson and Dr. David Blumenthal wrote in an opinion piece in “Harvard Business Review.” “The financial impact of the pandemic has weakened some providers, which will undoubtedly fuel another merger-and-acquisition wave when the pandemic subsides. Therefore, it is crucial for Congress and regulators to take steps to understand the impact of the consolidation and take actions that prevent combinations that will adversely affect the cost and quality of care.”

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