Not-for-profit hospital monopolies are helping make health insurance unaffordable for millions of Americans.
In its Thursday edition, The Wall Street Journal profiles the near monopoly that Carilion Health System has in Roanoke, Virg., and how it uses its monopoly power to inflate prices and enrich its executives.
The impact graph:
Carilion’s market clout is manifest in other ways. With eight hospitals, 11,000 employees and $1 billion in assets, the tax-exempt hospital system has become one of the dominant players in the Roanoke Valley’s economy. Its dozens of subsidiaries include businesses ranging from athletic clubs to a venture-capital fund.
The power of nonprofit hospital systems like Carilion over their regional communities has increased in recent years as their incomes have surged. Critics charge this is creating untaxed local health-care monopolies that drive the costs of care higher for patients and businesses.
On Jan. 24, 2007, I said health care reform should include breaking up not only health systems, but also medical groups and large regional insurers.
The Journal continues to call not-for-profit, tax-exempt health care providers “nonprofit.” Its stories show that tax-exempt health care providers are not “nonprofit.”