by Katherine Restrepo
Director of Health Care Policy, John Locke Foundation
Hadley Health Manning, Director of Health Policy for Independent Women’s Forum, lays out the facts in Forbes.
Obamacare has sped up consolidation, but other bureaucratic expansions of government’s role in health care spurred this trend long before the 2010 law.
Since 1990, the healthcare workforce has grown by 75%, but the majority of those jobs are non-medical (read: administrative) jobs. Paperwork, electronic medical records, coding, tracking down reimbursements and billing have all gotten between doctors and caring for their patients.
Beginning in 2013, the Legislature established a committee examining anticompetitive health care practices in which provider consolidation was of major concern. See North Carolina’s track record below. Less white space over time means fewer independent health care facilities.
The growing trend of hospitals scooping up physician practices and big time insurance mergers continues to stifle consumer choice and ignite higher health care costs.