Clinical integration of independent healthcare providers has the potential to create significant benefits for practitioners and patients, in terms of both treatment and costs. For instance, where doctors can streamline information-sharing through online networks, and benefit from collectively developed medical protocols, it is not difficult to conclude that the quality of care, likelihood of innovation, and economic efficiency of the delivery of care increase tremendously. However, because clinical integration plans often lead to participating providers collectively negotiating their fees with insurers, these arrangements also have the potential to reduce competition in healthcare markets and drive up prices.
Reprinted with permission from the American Health Lawyers Association.
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