fah hospital policy blog

Perspectives on health policy affecting America’s hospitals and the patients we serve.

Category Archives: realignment

Modern Healthcare Spotlights Success Story in Detroit

September 30, 2015 | FAH Hospital Policy Blog Team

Category: Health Care Delivery, Realignment

In a Q&A piece this week, Modern Healthcare highlights the work of Joe Mullany, CEO of the Detroit Medical Center (DMC), a successful nine-hospital system owned and operated by Tenet Healthcare. The DMC represents one of the more than 1,000 hospital members of the Federation of American Hospitals.

Read More »

Insurer Consolidation: “Megadeals” on the Horizon, Pose Major Implications for Premiums and Fees for

June 19, 2015 | FAH Hospital Policy Blog Team

Category: General, Health Care Delivery, Realignment

A Wall Street Journal article out this week assesses several major, multi-billion dollar mergers being pursued among insurance company giants and the impact of a changing paradigm of benefit plans on consumers. The story highlights the wave of major deals between the five largest insurance companies in the U.S.: Cigna, Humana, Anthem, Aetna and United, and outlines the motives for this latest set of mergers or “tie-ups.”

Read More »

New Altarum Report Shows First-Ever Negative Hospital Price Growth

March 13, 2015 | FAH Hospital Policy Blog Team

Category: Health Care Delivery, Realignment

Today, the Altarum Institute released its monthly Health Sector Economic Indicators Price Brief showing evidence of negative hospital price growth for Medicare and “other” payers. According to the report, January 2015 data indicate an overall negative hospital price growth for the first time ever.

The Altarum Institute’s monthly reports regularly reveal key insights into the health of health care and this month’s report reveals key news for hospital price growth:
“The big news is the first ever negative hospital price growth (-0.1%), along with the historically low hospital price growth for Medicare (-2.9%) and “other” payers (1.6%).”
The health care market showed a continued decrease in growth for Medicare and “other” prices:
“Medicare and Medicaid prices grew more slowly than “other” prices, which include private payment. Hospital prices for Medicare and Medicaid patients changed by -2.9% and -0.1%, respectively, down 2.2% from December for Medicare and down 0.5% for Medicaid.“
Further, the report’s negative hospital price growth data reconfirm the truth about hospital realignment, refuting the enduring misconception that hospital realignment leads to hospital price increases. As the report directly states:
“The long predicted hospital price growth due to consolidation is nowhere to be found!”

Read More »

Latest Altarum Institute Report Outlines “Remarkable” Hospital Prices Data

February 13, 2015 | FAH Hospital Policy Blog Team

Category: Realignment

The Altarum Institute yesterday released its monthly Health Sector Economic Indicators Price Brief for February, which offers a year-on-year assessment of health care economics in 2013 and 2014. In particular, this report provides definitive proof of continuing slowed hospital care price growth and is a critical indicator of the reality of hospital realignment.

The headline of the Altarum Institute’s report notes that the growth rate of hospital prices is historically low:
“The big news for the month is the minimal hospital price growth—at 0.9%, the lowest rate since September 1998.”
The report also highlights the lowest price growth in Altarum’s records:

“Hospital prices for Medicare and Medicaid patients changed by -0.7% and 0.4%, respectively, down 1.4% from November for Medicare and up 0.5% for Medicaid. For other patients, price growth held steady in December at 2.0%. These three most recent readings…are the lowest since this series began in January 2002.”

The report concludes that the enduring trends of slowed—or in some cases negative—hospital price growth refutes long-standing misconceptions on hospital realignment, saying:
“This is remarkable, and for the time being, it should quiet those predicting higher prices emanating from hospital consolidation.”
This marks the second consecutive month Altarum has made this exact declaration to those who cling to the longstanding misconceptions of hospital realignment in the 21st century. In fact, Altarum has been a strong voice in commenting on the new reality of mergers and other transactions among health systems. In its December 2014 report, Altarum concludes:
“There is no evidence that provider consolidation is boosting hospital price growth.”
Since the Fall of 2014, we have witnessed a shifting tide among experts and health care professionals on the reality of contemporary hospital realignment. Decades-old data from the 1990s, used frequently by realignment critics, have been challenged by more current analyses that show, as one report states, “no consistent statistical relationship between hospital realignment and price increases.”

Read More »