In a letter published today, the AHA says an Aug. 27 article in the Wall Street Journal wrongly states that the insurance megadeals will be good for consumers because it will force hospitals to lower prices. “Despite fears that hospital mergers would raise costs, hospital price growth is at a historic low, down to 1.4% in 2014 from 2.2% in 2013—the slowest rate since 1998,” writes AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack. “Yes, hospitals are working together in new ways, and those transactions are motivated by structural changes in the market designed to improve access and affordability for patients. The benefits to consumers of these structural changes are obvious. A JAMA study last month in what the lead author called ‘jaw dropping,’ showed a reduction in hospitalizations and costs for Medicare patients. These commercial insurance deals are about increasing top-line profits at the expense of consumers and providers. Hospitals are woven into the fabric of their communities, so we know how to raise quality and lower costs for patients and we have a track record of doing so.”