"Yet studies indicate that mergers overall lead to higher costs, as health systems gain more leverage in negotiating contracts with health insurers..."
" Prices often rise when close competitors merge..."
"A large body of academic research indicates consolidated health systems can raise prices more easily because they have more leverage in negotiation with health insurers. That's because it's harder for a health plan to not include a larger health system in its network. The result: higher premiums for consumers and employers.
Rural areas in particular are vulnerable because there are often few, if any, alternatives for health care for patients."