How States Can Advance Equity When Addressing Health Care Consolidation


How States Can Advance Equity When Addressing Health Care Consolidation

6 Mar 2024

Health care costs in this country continue to rise without a commensurate increase in quality.1 These increased costs squeeze public budgets and individual and family pocketbooks, including through higher health insurance premiums. Many states are interested in addressing these rising costs and have multiple tools available to do so. This report is the second in a series that explores how states that are seeking to lower the cost of care can also advance health equity as part of that effort through policy design and implementation, rather than as an afterthought.2This report focuses on addressing consolidation through an equity lens, building on the existing literature that focuses on the impact of consolidation on prices and quality.3 It begins by providing background on consolidation in the health care system that has rapidly increased in recent years, as well as its impacts on equitable health care access and affordability. It ends by providing several policy tools that states can use in implementing enhanced merger review to slow the growth of consolidation and enable state officials to better promote health equity through the design, implementation, and execution of policies aimed at curbing the rise of health care costs.


Tara Oakman, Thomas Waldrop, Lex Brierley

Published in
United States of America