AHA president fires back at NYT article linking consolidation to high prices

In response to an article in The New York Times that linked hospital mergers to higher service prices for patients, AHA President Rick Pollack issued a statement claiming the article misrepresented the true causes of healthcare costs.

The article was based on studies that point to higher than average patient costs in metropolitan areas where systems have consolidated. However, Mr. Pollack said that lack of competition among commercial insurers was to blame for premium growth. He added that consolidation is a necessary response to the challenges providers face and, in many cases, is the only way they can keep their doors open.

"Rapid changes in the larger healthcare field as new competitors create a new competitive market for outpatient and other healthcare services are leading hospitals and health systems to re-evaluate how they deliver care," said Mr. Pollack. "The realignment of the hospital field is a direct response to the changing needs of communities for more convenient care, continuous financial pressures to reduce costs and the ever-present drive to improve quality.

"In order to achieve this, hospitals are joining physicians and other partners to unleash savings and innovate to transform care delivery," he said.

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