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And despite the obvious, the hospital mergers just continue.

UNC/Carolinas HealthCare Systems Merger: Expect 10% Higher Prices

January 05, 2018 | NC Coalition for Fiscal Health |

When UNC Health Care and Carolinas HealthCare announced last fall that they intended to merge, they touted that the partnership would help them negotiate better deals with vendors.  What they likely wanted you to hear was “we will spend less money, and pass the savings on to you.” But there’s a reason they didn’t say it that clearly.  

It’s not true.

Market competition is one of the forces that has made our country great.  When multiple businesses offer a similar service, like health care, competition forces them to appeal to customers by providing better quality services and better prices.  Study after study shows that when hospital competition is reduced, prices go up. 

Even scarier, quality goes down, which means worse health outcomes and increased mortality.  We’ll talk about that tomorrow. 

A recent study co-authored by scholars from Harvard University, Harvard Business School and Columbia University found “that hospitals acquiring another system member in-state raise price by 7-10 percent”

Sadly, 7-10% may be more here.  

SC's 2 Largest Hospital Networks Merge

The Post and Courier |  Mary Katherine Wildeman  |  June 25, 2017

In a deal shifting the health care landscape in South Carolina, the state's two largest hospital systems — Palmetto Health and Greenville Health System — announced Thursday that they will merge.

The systems claim together they will reach 1.2 million patients per year and treat about one-third of all Medicaid patients statewide. About half of South Carolinians will be within a 15-minute drive of one of the its facilities, including 13 hospitals, health center leaders say.

Combined, Palmetto and Greenville will own one out of every five hospital beds in the state and employ one of every five physicians, based on state data. The merged hospital systems also will become the largest private employer in South Carolina with 30,800 health care workers and doctors. The new network will more here.

Palmetto Health, Greenville Health System to merge, creating 13-hospital system in SC

The State |  Jeff Wilkinson  |  June 15, 2017

Palmetto Health and Greenville Health System are merging to form the largest health system in South Carolina with 13 hospitals and 1.2 million patients annually, the companies announced Thursday.

Together, the combined companies are expected to generate $3.9 billion in annual net revenue and become the largest private employer in South Carolina with more more than 28,000 health care workers and 2,800 physicians, according to a news release. The new company does not have a name, but one is expected to be chosen by the time the deal closes, which officials hope will be by Jan. 1.

A newly organized board with equal representation from both current boards more here.

SC Doctors' Voice Heard on Capitol Hill

AID Executive Director Marni Jameson Carey met with U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham’s aides in March to discuss the four-key health-care moves that would not only be good for South Carolina’s doctors, but that would also greatly reduce health-care costs and improve access. AID’s message: Stop consolidation, increase transparency on health-care costs, eliminate facility fees, and stop nonprofit hospitals from abusing their tax-exempt status. These four moves would save hundreds of billions of dollars nationwide, and be healthy for independent doctors. Pictured from left, Carey with Legislative Aide Adair Bramlett and Senior Counsel Nick Myers.

Sisters of Charity allege double-cross by Palmetto Health in $50 million lawsuit

The State | By John Monk | Aug. 18, 2016

    The Sisters of Charity, who once owned Columbia’s former Providence Hospital, have sued Columbia’s Palmetto Health hospital system, alleging the health giant stole Providence’s valuable orthopedic practice worth $50 million.

    The Sisters of Charity seek not only $50 million, but also punitive and other damages for the loss of Moore Orthopedic Clinic – additional damages that could wind up costing Palmetto Health hundreds of millions of dollars, were it to lose the lawsuit.

    The lawsuit pits two iconic Columbia hospitals – Palmetto and Providence – against each other in what will be a high-stakes legal battle where not only money, but prestige and reputations, are on the line. There are few people in the Columbia area who have not received medical treatment at either hospital complex or who don’t see doctors affiliated with those hospitals.


    Related content

    Hospital wars: Palmetto Health to fight Sisters of Charity $50 million suit

    South Carolina Leadership


    Marion McMillan, MD    Ann Margaret McCraw, CEO

     Mark Salley, MD

    National News......

    In one new Oklahoma City surgical center prices are 1/6 to 1/10 the amount charged by hospitals. Everyone pays the same price for the same procedure. Total charges are often less “than the deductibles on the Obamacare plans.” Patients are not asked: “What insurance do you have?” Real life evidence that “legitimate” pricing is the cure for a sick healthcare system. Please share and help to more here.


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