Health insurers used mergers and consolidation to get the clout to bargain hard with big health care providers. Now Stephen Zaharuk, an analyst at Moody’s Investors Service, says credit analysts think providers might use deals of their own to bargain harder with insurers.
Zaharuk writes in a new commentary that providers might use mergers and acquisitions to get enough share to threaten insurers’ ability to operate in some markets.
See also: Hospital deals drive up prices
If a big provider started or acquired its own captive insurer, it might be able to brush traditional insurers aside by offering customers of the captive insurer lower prices for care, or giving the patients with coverage from the captive insurer easier access to care, Zaharuk writes.