Patients are the Victims of Anticompetitive Contracting in Healthcare
“The devil is in the details,” as the saying goes. Nowhere is this more true than in hospital and insurer contracts. These closed-door contract negotiations possess anticompetitive clauses that end up lowering healthcare access and jeopardizing patient care .
Anticompetitive contract provisions drive up the cost of healthcare and do little to improve patient outcomes. But, of course, it’s more lucrative to operate a healthcare business when there is little to no competition — which means the real incentive for providers and insurers is to grow market shares, buy up the competition, and then aggressively raise demands against opposing parties during negotiations. None of this is motivated by a desire to help patients receive the best care possible.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Insurers were supposed to look out for their customers’ interests (the employers and patients paying premiums) by driving a hard bargain with providers. Providers were supposed to compete with each other, lowering prices and raising quality for patients.
Read the full commentary in the Washington Examiner.