Hospital consolidation is driving up public exchange bills in mostly urban areas and could jeopardize quality of care, cautions a recent analysis by America’s Health Insurance Plans. Of the 12 states examined, significant correlations between this key trend and higher costs were found among enrollees in both federally facilitated and state-based exchanges in Missouri, Georgia and Ohio.

“If hospital systems are able to use monopoly power to extract price increases for their services due to a lack of competition, it will have a substantial impact on consumers, government budgets and taxpayers,” according to AHIP.

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