- Stop digging the hole deeper. Increase federal and state scrutiny on both horizontal and vertical mergers and eliminate the myriad federal and state policies that encourage provider consolidation or protect incumbents. Stop paying more for the same service when it is performed in a hospital outpatient department; tie 340B drug discounts to eligible patients rather than the site of service; states should repeal Certificate of Need laws because they restrict provider entry; and stop using COPAs that shield entities from antitrust.
- Remove barriers to price competition among providers. States should repeal Any Willing Provider laws; mandate accurate provider directories; update scope of practice laws to reflect current knowledge about non-physician practitioners’ ability to safely provide services traditionally provided by physicians; state licensing boards should encourage provider competition through facilitating practices such as telehealth; and increase transparency.
- Prevent anticompetitive practices. States should ban the use of anti-tiering, anti-steering, gag, and most favored nation practices that harm competition; state insurance commissioners should review insurer contracts for these same practices and take action if they exist; and states should grant this power to their commissioner if they have not already done so.
- Make it easier for independent physician practices to be financially viable. Allow lower-risk Medicare ACO contract options for independent provider groups; provide access to capital for small practices; and consider making affordable reinsurance or stop-loss protection available in Medicare ACO models.
Farzad Mostashari has received funding from Aledade, Inc., where he is CEO, co-founder, and board member, which may have an interest in this work. He also serves as an adviser to NaviMed, which may have an interest in this work. In addition, he has received funding from the Indiana Primary Care Association and the American College of Chest Physicians unrelated to this work. Other than these disclosures, the authors are currently not officers, directors, or board members of any organization with an interest in this article.
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