Health care mergers could limit patient options
Changes in the American health care system are limiting patients' options in choosing their doctors, and the changes are drawing attention from the Federal Trade Commission, according to a recent American Medical Association article.
Iowa Clinic CEO C. Edward Brown, who recently gave a talk on health care mergers and consolidation at a conference, said industry consolidation doesn't mean health care will get better for patients and that these kinds of changes could cause the health system's "death spiral," Andis Robeznieks wrote.
Brown also said health organizations are trying to increase their market share in the health care field by purchasing doctors' offices and creating health initiatives, Robeznieks wrote.
Brown said that those organizations often don't know how to run the practices they bought and get rid of the teams that run those doctors' offices, get rid of support and blaming the doctors because those acquisitions lose money, Robeznieks wrote.
The changes are gaining notice by the Federal Trade Commission. Sidney Welch, chair of Polsinelli Law Firm's Healthcare Innovation practice, disclosed that 47 percent of actions FTC took in 2016 was in health care, including stopping mergers between health insurance companies and hospitals, Robeznieks wrote.
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