No less than the Wall Street Journal has claimed that “secret deals” hospitals strike with health insurers contribute in a big way to runaway health spending in the United States. In Behind Your Rising Health-Care Bills: Secret Hospital Deals That Squelch Competition, the Journal describes “secret restrictions” such as “anti-steering clauses that prevent insurers from steering patients to less-expensive or higher-quality healthcare providers.” (Certainly urgent care would fall into one, if not both, of those categories.) The Association of Independent Doctors (AID) took fast notice of the article and applauded the Journal’s efforts in a letter sent to its own distribution list, and suggested that more transparency “would fix all this.” AID also opined that “it should be illegal for hospitals to prevent insurers from contracting with lower-cost providers.” There have been no reports of the Federal Trade Commission, Department of Justice, or Congress taking that advice, to date, but AID also called on all those receiving the letter to distribute the Journal article “far and wide.”

WSJ Calls Out Hospitals for ‘Secret Deals” that Hinder Competition (eg, from Urgent Care)
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