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Many things affect your health. Genetics. Lifestyle. Modern medicine. The environment in which you live and work.
But although we rarely consider it, the degree of competition among health care organizations does so as well.
Markets for both hospitals and physicians have become more concentrated in recent years. Although higher prices are the consequences most often discussed, such consolidation can also resultin worse health care. Studies show that rates of mortality and of major health setbacks grow when competition falls.
This runs counter to claims some in the health care industry have made in favor of mergers. By harnessing economies of scale and scope, they’ve argued, larger organizations can offer better care at lower costs.