The Impact of Hospital Consolidation on Care Access, Quality, and Disparities for Low-Income Populations: Evidence from New York Medicaid
Sunita Desai, New York University
Considerable evidence shows that hospital mergers raise the prices hospitals are able to negotiate with private insurers, but there is little evidence about the impact on patients covered by Medicaid. Hospitals may use the added private revenue to expand care for Medicaid patients, or they may shift care away from Medicaid patients to higher-profit privately insured patients. This study will investigate how hospital mergers in New York over the 2006-2012 period affected Medicaid access, Medicaid quality, and disparities in access and quality for Medicaid patients relative to privately insured patients. Because antitrust regulators may consider differential impacts on underserved populations when reviewing potential mergers, the findings may be important for antitrust policy. The work may also inform investments in safety net care in response to mergers.