What to do about health-care markets? Policies to make health-care markets work

Rear View Of Doctors Talking As They Walk Through Hospital

The Problem

Health-care markets have become much more consolidated over time. That consolidation has generally resulted in higher prices without gains in quality or other improvements. There are many health-care markets where competition can be effective, but the right policies are needed to support that competition. In other markets, robust competition would be more difficult to achieve, necessitating a different policy approach.

The Proposal

Gaynor proposes three types of policy reforms that would increase competition in health care and improve market functioning.

  • Reduce or eliminate policies that encourage consolidation or that impede entry and competition.
  • Strengthen antitrust enforcement so that federal and state antitrust enforcement agencies can act effectively to prevent and remove harms to competition.
  • Create an agency responsible for monitoring and overseeing health-care markets, and give that agency the authority to flexibly intervene when markets are not working.

The author did not receive financial support from any firm or person for this article or from any firm or person with a financial or political interest in this article. Neither is currently an officer, director, or board member of any organization with a financial or political interest in this article.