Joe Mott, vice president for population health for Intermountain Healthcare, based in Salt Lake City, warns in Modern Healthcare that hospital, insurer and drugstore-chain mergers without care integration won’t align incentives that can improve health and cut costs.
“Consolidation may be a necessary condition, but it is certainly not sufficient to drive the needed changes in the industry. The transformation that is desperately needed is a move toward more integration of care delivery, involvement of patients in their care, and alignment of financial incentives.””To this point, all we’re talking about is size and market power, none of which necessarily creates more value in the market.”
“Consolidation may well increase efficiencies, standardization and bargaining leverage, but whether or not it leads to integration will, in the end, determine its contribution to healthcare improvement.”
“That’s key when 30 percent or more of healthcare in the U.S. is not indicated by evidence and, therefore, might be described as over-treatment. Simply reducing the cost of that over-treatment misses the biggest opportunity for improvement. If we can create a healthcare system that provides all the care people need but none of the care they do not need, we will improve quality and reduce cost.”