Much has been made of “unwarranted price variation” among health care providers in Massachusetts. Market dominance is often cited as the reason a business can negotiate higher prices. So, what’s the share for some of the Commonwealth’s major health care players within their relevant marketplace?
- Partners HealthCare, eastern Massachusetts inpatient hospitalization, 22 percent
- Baystate Health, western Massachusetts inpatient hospitalization, 49 percent
- Boston Children’s Hospital, pediatrics, 46 percent
- UMASS HealthCare, central Massachusetts inpatient hospitalization, 46 percent
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, health insurance, 40 percent
- Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, health insurance, 16 percent
- Tufts Health Plan, health insurance, 12 percent
Merriam-Webster defines a monopoly as “complete control of the entire supply of goods or of a service in a certain area or market.” None of the major health care players in Massachusetts has a monopoly and Partners HealthCare, at 22%, does not have a dominant share of the market. As the Special Commission to Review Variation in Provider Prices begins its work, it’s important to keep the conversation grounded with real data. Without the facts, we cannot make real progress.
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