Hospital have been not only purchasing other hospitals reducing the number of independent hospitals in the US from 5,000 to 1,000, but it has also accelerated the trend for hospitals to purchase lucrative medical practices to earn income from diagnostic tests and to control the flow of hospital admissions.
An unintended consequence of this path may actually increase hospital costs because fewer hospital facilities exist, or the lack of competition may just lead to a universal medical care system. Workers' compensation insurance programs may therefore be required higher fees to hospitals.
"Hospitals across the nation are being swept up in the biggest wave of mergers since the 1990s, a development that is creating giant hospital systems that could one day dominate American health care and drive up costs."
Read the complete article, "New Laws and Rising Costs Create a Surge of Supersizing Hospitals" (NY Times)