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Leemore Dafny on Hospital Prices, Markets, and Antitrust Regulations

A Health Podyssey

Leemore Dafny on Hospital Prices, Markets, and Antitrust Regulations

Health Affairs Editor-in-Chief Alan Weil interviews Leemore Dafny from Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School on hospital prices, market concentration and why market measurements are lacking.
September 14, 2021

Leemore Dafny on Hospital Prices, Markets, and Antitrust Regulations

The US government reports that the total spending on hospital care in 2019 was almost $1.2 trillion. High and highly variable hospital prices have been in the news recently in part due to new information made available under the price transparency rules implemented by the Trump administration.

Competitive markets are supposed to constrain prices, but in much of the US, there’s little competition among hospitals and consolidation throughout the healthcare sector has contributed to that consolidation. The result is a number of proposals to regulate health care prices in general and for hospital prices in particular.

Leemore Dafny from the Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School joins Health Affairs Editor-in-Chief Alan Weil to discuss her latest research on hospital prices and market concentration.

Dafny and colleagues published a paper in the September 2021 issue of Health Affairs analyzing hospital prices and relating them to market concentration. The authors found the relationship isn’t as straightforward as one might expect — but the findings still have major implications for any consideration of regulating hospital prices.

If you like this interview, order the September issue of Health Affairs.

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