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Study: Clout of healthcare providers drives costs, March 1, 2010

Insurers have been targeted throughout the healthcare reform debate, but an underlying driver of escalating insurance premiums—the growing market power of hospitals and physicians to negotiate higher reimbursement rates—also needs to be addressed, according to a report by the Center for Studying Health System Change. The report traces how consolidation of hospitals and formation of independent physician practice associations in California during the past decade have strengthened providers' bargaining power with health plans, leading to higher premiums in that state.