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Drawing on a comment made by Dr. Schulman in an earlier question, there has been significant consolidation among health systems in the US. In 2016 there were 52 hospital mergers in the first 6 months of the year, up 6% from the year prior. Hospitals argue that consolidation allows for improved coordination of care, sharing of medical records, and decreased costs through economies of scale. However research has shown that increased market power through consolidation has increased healthcare prices. Does hospital consolidation provide value to patients? And how does hospital consolidation impact physicians?