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AMA study whomps insurance mergers

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The American Medical Association is very worried that insurance-industry consolidation may give the remaining insurers enough bargaining power to drive down the compensation of physicians, whose pay remains the highest of physicians in the world.

So the AMA has come out with its newly updated market analyses of the effect of big insurance mergers.

“The AMA analyses show that Anthem-Cigna and Aetna-Humana mergers would significantly compromise market competition in the health insurance industry and threaten healthcare access, quality and affordability,” AMA President Andrew W. Gurman, M.D., said.  “With existing competition in health insurance markets already at alarmingly low levels, federal and state antitrust officials have powerful reasons to block harmful mergers and foster a more competitive marketplace that will operate in patients’ best interests.”

The study, as reported by Becker’s Hospital Review, found, in Becker’s words:

1. “Seventy-one percent of the health insurance markets for 388 metropolitan areas were highly concentrated, largely the result of consolidation.

2. “In nearly all (91 percent) of the 388 metropolitan areas, at least one insurer had a commercial market share of 30 percent or greater, the study found.

3. “According to the study, a single insurer’s commercial market share was at least 50 percent in 40 percent of the 388 metropolitan areas.

4. “The study also found 14 states had a single health insurer with at least a 50 percent share of the commercial health insurance market. Those states are Alabama, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont and Wyoming.”

To read the Becker’s article on this, please hit this link.


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