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  • Despite the potential consequences for babies, up to 10 percent of pregnant women opt to deliver through C-section or induction prior to 39 weeks gestation without medical indication. 

  • The CDC has declared adolescent vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV) one of the top five public health priorities of 2014. Last month the President's Cancer Council also issued an urgent call to action to improve HPV vaccination rates.

  • Evidence has consistently shown that hospital consolidations are associated with higher prices, but preventing anti-competitive mergers has proven difficult.

  • For decades steady increases in lifestyle-related illnesses have affected our quality of life and our bottom line. With more than half of Americans now facing at least one chronic disease, the status quo is no longer acceptable. 

  • Health care is a uniquely challenging consumer experience: it can be complex and expensive but also vital and deeply personal. It’s no wonder that consumers are looking to technology to help simplify their health care choices—and businesses are increasingly meeting them with solutions.

  • Patient-centered care has at its base a very powerful concept: health care decisions should be driven by the preferences, needs and values of the patient. In this essay, Michael Millenson identifies three distinct ways of thinking about patient-centered care—ethically, economically and clinically.

NIHCM

Expert Voices: More Evidence of the Association Between Hospital Market Concentration and Higher Prices and Profits

James C. Robinson, PhD, Leonard D. Schaeffer Professor of Health Economics and Director, Berkeley Center for Health Technology, University of California, Berkeley
 
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November 2011

In this essay, Dr. James Robinson presents results from his latest work showing that the prices hospitals charge to private insurers for 6 common procedures are 30 to 50 percent higher when the hospital is located in a market where it faces less competition from other hospitals. These findings add to the already substantial body of research showing that consolidation in hospital markets confers market power that enables hospitals to secure higher prices. When seen in the context of current policies encouraging additional provider consolidation through accountable care organizations, this work serves as an important reminder that ongoing vigilance of the potential anti-competitive effects of these new delivery systems is needed along with other measures to counteract growing market power of providers.
 

Other recent Expert Voices essays include:

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