Lingering fallout from the country’s economic recession slowed demand for health care services, but did little to slow aggressive competition by dominant hospital systems for well-insured patients according to a new study from the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC). The findings come from a series of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded site visits HSC conducted in 12 nationally representative metropolitan communities in 2010.
Despite the weak economy, researchers found that hospitals with significant market clout continued to command high payment rate increases from private insurers. The study also found that hospitals, physicians and insurers generally viewed health reform coverage expansions favorably, but displayed universal concern about protecting revenues as reform requirements phase in.
The study’s findings are detailed in Key Findings from HSC’s 2010 Site Visits: Health Care Markets Weather Economic Downturn, Brace for Health Reform, written by HSC’s Laurie E. Felland, Ha T. Tu and Joy M. Grossman. The National Institute for Health Care Reform also provided funding for the study.