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When Hospitals Merged, Patient Care Didn’t Improve: Study

The Fiscal Times Staff

A recent spate of hospital mergers hasn’t led to improved quality of care, according to a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine highlighted by The Wall Street Journal.

“Hospital merger-and-acquisition activity has surged in recent years, with executives involved in transactions making the case that greater size will boost quality with new investments and yield other improvements as deal makers benefit from each others’ strengths,” the Journal’s Melanie Evans writes.

The study, one of the first major efforts to examine the effects of hospital consolidation on patient care, found otherwise. It concludes that patient experiences got “modestly worse” while readmission and mortality rates were not significantly changed. Past studies have found that hospital mergers result in higher prices for patients with private insurance.

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