This study analyzes the changes in costs and prices from 1986 to 1994 for more than 3,500 U.S. short-term general hospitals, including 122 horizontal mergers. These mergers were generally financially beneficial to consumers, providing average price reductions of approximately 7 percent. Merger-related price reductions were considerably less in market areas with higher market concentration levels. Merger-related price reductions in areas with higher penetration by health maintenance organizations (HMOs) were approximately twice those in areas with lower HMO penetration. Merger-related price reductions were greater for low-occupancy hospitals, nonteaching hospitals, nonsystem hospitals, similar-size hospitals, and hospitals with greater premerger service duplication.