Regarding “Sutter merging foundations to form Calif. physician group,” (Oct. 26), our “healthcare system” suffers from neither being a single-payer (private or governmental) nor a truly free market-driven system. Unprecedented consolidation of payers (Anthem, UnitedHealth, etc.) and hospitals (HCA, Sutter Health, Tenet Healthcare Corp., ad infinitum) without measurable true market value has led to avaricious market-leverage tactics in negotiations without demonstrated efficiencies (show me just one). That has inflated our "system's" healthcare costs for all Americans in the name of greed.
Adding large, dedicated, consolidated medical groups to the family of hospital systems will only inflate costs and guarantee more uninsured without more value (quality and lower cost). The current certificate-of-need requirements (license to steal by many) and the inability of physicians to collectively bargain has fostered this anti-free-market consolidation. HHS' inspector general's office and the Federal Trade Commission are impotent and turn a blind eye. It is hastening our movement to a governmental single-payer system with all of its embedded operational incompetencies.
Robert Forster, M.D.Sacramento, Calif.
Submit a letter to the Modern Physician Reader Blog. Please include your name, title, company and hometown. Modern Physician reserves the right to edit all submissions.