|WASHINGTON, D.C., July 18, 2013 – The National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) announced 17 distinguished leaders in health policy to serve on a study panel as part of the new project, “Addressing Pricing Power in Health Care Markets.” The study panel will evaluate the range of policy options that address the trend toward consolidation of providers and purchasers and its impact on health care spending. (For details on the project see, NASI Announces New Project on Addressing Pricing Power in Health Care Markets.)
The independent study panel brings together national experts from academia, health policy, health care providers, insurers, and law. Over the course of 18 months, the study panel, co-chaired by Robert A. Berenson, M.D., of the Urban Institute and G. William Hoagland of the Bipartisan Policy Center, will oversee work focused on a wide-ranging and thorough examination of the market-oriented and regulatory policy options to address the effects of pricing power on health care costs. The study panel’s objective is to thoroughly explore and advance understanding of the pros and cons of possible policy options and to provide a comprehensive basis for further research, analysis, and policy development. See below for a complete list of panel members.
"The trend toward consolidation of providers and purchasers, underway since the 1990s, has changed the dynamics of local healthcare markets and affected health care prices,” said G. Lawrence Atkins, President of NASI. “We are pleased to name a panel of such high caliber to examine this important phenomenon with a depth and balance not previously applied. It is our hope that by thoroughly examining the advantages and disadvantages of a range of alternative policy responses, this panel can help policymakers select approaches to produce the greatest benefit for consumers and effectively contribute to slowing the overall growth in health care costs.”
“There is disagreement about whether the current trend toward provider consolidation is a desirable development, but many think continued horizontal and vertical integration based around hospitals is inevitable,” Hoagland said. “Whatever the merits of consolidation, there is a need to understand the effect of that consolidation on prices, service use, access and quality and, in particular, to explore policies that address the effects of that consolidation on prices.” The project will also explore the role of health plan consolidation on prices and quality and consider the role of factors besides consolidation on prices and quality.
Support for this project is provided by grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The California HealthCare Foundation, based in Oakland, California.