Barak Richman: Health Systems and Antitrust Policies

In this article, Duke Law and Fuqua Professor Barak D. Richman and coauthors discuss the court ruling that disallowed Partners Health Care in Suffolk County, MA from adding three additional providers to their health system. The publication explores the impact of the first merger between MA General and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, which has kept hospital visit prices high due to their dominance over other hospital systems in the area. Although Partners originally offered to settle, the authors find that a settlement would have unfairly treated Partners as a natural monopoly which relies on increasing returns rather than a system that needs innovation and high-quality care, whose end-goal is to provide low-cost, quality options. Richman and colleagues close the article by arguing that antitrust policies should be seen as “innovation-oriented” rather than “utility-oriented.”

Read more in “Market-Based Solutions to Antitrust Threats – The Rejection of the Partners Settlement” The New England Journal of Medicine

Herzlinger, R.E., Richman, B.D., & Schulman, K.A. (2015). Market-Based Solutions to Antitrust Threats-The Rejection of the Partners Settlement. New England Journal of Medicine, 372, 1287-1289. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1501782