The July 5th article from The New York Times titled “With Merging of Insurers, Questions for Patients About Costs and Innovation” by Reed Abelson covers the recent changes in the healthcare insurance landscape and addresses several issues that patients will now face. As insurers grow larger, will consumers benefit from the companies’ ability to bargain with hospitals and doctors for lower prices? Will diminishing competition translate to fewer choices of plans? And what effect will mergers have on innovation in health care?
Rob Fuller, attorney at Nelson Hardiman and former hospital COO who advises healthcare clients on hospital management was quoted in this article: “This is just going to undercut any motivation for innovation,” said Mr. Fuller, a former hospital executive who is now a lawyer at Nelson Hardiman in Los Angeles. He predicts that the big insurers will use their newly found clout to return to the time when all that mattered was trying to obtain lower prices rather than rethinking their relationships with the providers. “It’s going to be back to blunt force, take it or leave it,” he said.
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