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Reporter’s guide to health care antitrust issues

Photo by afagen via Flickr

We don’t normally think about local hospitals as cutthroat competitors seeking to put rivals out of business or operating monopolies that can charge whatever they wish because they’ve bought, intimidated or frightened away competition. But anticompetitive behavior can exert real impact on health care pricing, access and quality of care. Organizations with market power often do charge higher prices. And when they raise prices, their competitors frequently do as well. Some researchers have suggested that it may also reduce the quality of care.

As Mark Taylor tells us in this comprehensive tip sheet, antitrust issues are among the most underreported stories in health care. And that’s a shame because, at their core, health care antitrust stories often include classic elements of conflict, greed, conspiracies, collusion and intense rivalry. Millions, even billions, of dollars are at stake. Find out what stories you might find in your community.

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