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Texas Small Businesses: Control Healthcare Prices and Regulate Hospital Consolidation

Will Maddox for D Magazine:

Consolidation is on the rise as well. According to research from Deloitte, the largest 10 healthcare systems in the U.S. control nearly a quarter percent of all hospitals. Between 2013 and 2018, the ten largest health systems saw revenue increase 82 percent from $505 billion to $918 billion, five times faster than the rest of the market.

Consolidation has been occurring since the 1990’s, and will likely continue as more hospitals struggle to stay profitable. Torch, an organization of rural and community hospitals, has some troubling statistics:

  • Texas leads the nation in rural hospital closures.
  • 26 Texas rural hospital closures (permanently or temporarily) have occurred in 22 communities since the beginning of 2010. Nationally, more than 120 rural hospitals have closed in the same time frame.
  • A Centers for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform study estimates 76 rural Texas hospitals are at risk of closure and 12 rural Texas hospitals are at immediate risk of closing.
  • The closures are taking an economic toll on Texas as a rural hospital closure – on average – costs 170 jobs and an annual payroll of $22 million.
  • Closures have a ripple effect in the community reducing sales tax revenue to local government, reducing school student numbers driving down state payments to the local school, and hurting local businesses across the community.