Important Study on High Utilization Released
An important study on high utilization in NJ was released this week. The study showed that high utilizers of hospital services visit multiple hospitals even across different demographic groups and insurance status. In a marketplace, like NJ, that is saturated with too many hospitals, this study emphasizes the need for coordinated models of care.
It also helps to illustrate the idea that hospital care should be viewed as a utility with a natural monopoly on services, instead of a market driven service. How many NICU’s, open heart surgery suites, and Gamma Knives does the State of NJ need or a region need? Competition leads to excess services, unnecessary competition, accelerating price trends, and fragmentation.
Is the municipality of Princeton healthier with two brand new, very expensive hospitals 10 miles apart? Or, are the citizens of NJ poorer and receiving more fragmented care?
— Jeff Brenner