Picture the small fish being eaten by a bigger fish then eaten by an even bigger fish.
That image comes to mind with news this week UnitedHealth Group intends to acquire physician practice DaVita Inc, which in 2012 acquired the large medical group HealthCare Partners LLC.
Was it a coincidence that just days earlier the largest health systems in Wisconsin and Illinois – Aurora Health Care and Advocate Health Care Network – announced plans to merge?
Same week, one more; CVS is planning to acquire Aetna.
Large integrated health systems might drive down cost with economies of scale. They might also use their increased clout to negotiate higher insurer payments. Who would blame the insurer then if they direct members to their own providers?
As just one consumer, I’m beginning to feel like Charlie the Tuna!
That bit of snark from the guy who last week precisely predicted the Badger-Buckeye score, but with the wrong winning team. What to make of that?