Hospitals and physicians are laying the groundwork for even higher healthcare costs by investing in select services that are particularly well-compensated, such as cardiac, cancer and orthopedic services, according to a report by the Center for Studying Health System Change, Washington. Higher healthcare spending, combined with higher out-of-pocket costs for workers, is likely to increase the number of uninsured Americans because of the impact on low-wage workers and small businesses, the study said. "The picture in local healthcare markets is pretty grim, and there's growing skepticism about market-led solutions to rein in rapidly rising healthcare costs," said Cara Lesser, author of the report. "In many cases, the different players -- employers, health plans, hospitals and physicians -- are responding to immediate pressures in ways that are at odds with controlling healthcare spending and protecting access to high-quality care over the longer term." Read the center's report. -- by Michael Romano
Providers' investments portend higher costs: group
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