5 health system CEOs get candid about mega-mergers between health insurers

Three CEOs from some of the largest health systems in the country shared their opinions about health insurers and the potential consolidation in the insurance sector.

The following comments were contributed to Becker's via email under the condition of anonymity.

1. "The provider industry should vigorously oppose health plan consolidation. In many states, the payers have a near monopoly. The [government] has focused so much on provider consolidations they have ignored the growing market concentration of the payer community."

2. "I definitely see further consolidation of the commercial insurance carrier industry as bad for consumers, employers and providers. The FTC and DOJ are biased against provider consolidation because they see the lack of choice as anticompetitive and anti-consumer. For the life of me I do not understand why they seem to take 180-degree view of insurance industry consolidation."

3. "I was quite surprise a to [read] about the class-action lawsuit against the Blue Cross organization and its member plans. I was happy to see this. Blue Cross functions as a sanctioned monopoly vendor in many states and uses bullying practices in order to maintain its monopolistic position."

4. "Especially with the recent Affordable Care Act court ruling, the way is cleared for a push to consolidate among insurance carriers. Providers will get pinched. Big question for me is whether the pinch will lead to 1990s-type large commodity purchasing and pricing or if a value-pricing, quality-conscious model will really evolve."

5. "Insurer consolidation will continue as the regulators think buyers should have more power than sellers. The balance of power has permanently shifted to the buy side."

Care to add your two cents? Please email mgamble@beckershealthcare.com.

More articles about health insurer consolidation:
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UnitedHealth leaves health insurers' largest trade group
Healthcare leaders, physicians and others weigh in on health insurer merger madness
125 things to know about the 'big 5' insurers

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