Is America’s Hospital Sector Open to Competition?
America's health care system lacks the competitive dynamic that marks other sectors of the economy. The controversy over single-specialty hospitals is a case in point. Also known as "focused factories" of cardiac, orthopedic, or pediatric care, these hospitals have flourished in recent years. However, Congress has temporarily blocked the creation of these facilities. Charging that specialty hospitals represent unfair competition to full-service community hospitals, many parties would like a permanent ban. The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission recently recommended extending that moratorium. The panelists will discuss the nature of "free" versus "fair" competition among hospitals, and what solutions exist that allow for both full-service and single-specialty hospitals.