Intense competition by new entrants, who put old companies out of business or force unwelcome and disruptive changes. Microsoft displaced IBM, and Google is displacing Microsoft. Walmart displaced Sears, and Amazon.com may displace Wal?Mart. Typewriter companies didn't invent the world processor, nor did they adapt. The post office didn't invent FedEx or email. Kodak is out of business. Toyota gave us cheaper and better cars, not Ford/GM/Chrysler competition. When the older businesses survive, it is only the pressure from new entrants that forces them to adapt.
So, where are the Walmarts and Southwest Airlines of health care? They are missing, and for a rather obvious reason: regulation and legal impediments.
A small example: In Illinois as in 35 other states7, every new hospital, or even major purchase, requires a "certificate of need." This certificate is issued by our "hospital equalization board," appointed by the governor (insert joke here) and regularly in the newspapers for various scandals. The board has an explicit mandate to defend the profitability of existing hospitals. It holds hearings at which they can complain that a new entrant would hurt their bottom line.