Indiana Consumers Pay More for Medical Care as a Result of Health Care Mergers and Acquisitions

By Consumers for Quality Care, on December 14, 2022

Indiana Consumers Pay More for Medical Care as a Result of Health Care Mergers and Acquisitions

From 2011 to 2020, Indiana consumers were found to have paid more for their health care than consumers in neighboring states, according to University of California-Berkley researchers as reported by the Greenfield Reporter.

During this time, Indiana consumers saw a 48 percent per capita rise in their health care spending, while consumers in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin saw an increase of only 35 percent over the same period.

The study, commissioned in 2021 by the Indiana General Assembly, found that the state’s three largest insurers controlled nearly 68 percent of the market share. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Indiana controls nearly 45 percent alone, according to the study.

The study found that large hospital systems dominate the market in Indiana via mergers and acquisitions. “The healthcare sector in Indiana is a microcosm of the healthcare system in the United States, consisting of dominant health insurers and a delivery system that has evolved into a patchwork of hospital systems that have grown in size and geographic scope via mergers and acquisitions, including vertical acquisitions of physician organizations,” researchers wrote.

CQC recently examined the state of Indiana’s hospitals, giving them a failing grade. The report card found that Indiana had some of the highest hospital prices and health care costs in the country, poor compliance with the federal hospital price transparency rules, and nonprofit hospitals reporting billions in profits while often spending less on charity care than the value of their tax exemptions.

CQC urges regulators and lawmakers to ensure a competitive health care sector that gives consumers lower-cost, higher-quality health care in Indiana and throughout the United States.