MARKET TRENDS

By the Numbers: Spike in M.D. Practice Acquisitions Drives Up Costs of Hospital Care

Hospitals are gobbling up M.D. practices at a record rate. In addition to endangering the independent physician practice, this trend is driving up the costs of hospital care by adding ever higher numbers of physicians to hospital payrolls. Consider the following numbers, which come from a new research study:

  • 5,000: Number of M.D. practices acquired by hospitals from July 2015 to July 2016;
  • 14,000: Number of physicians who became hospital employees over the same period;
  • 11: Percentage by which acquisitions grew as compared to the same period from 2014-2015;
  • 100: Percentage by which hospital-owned physician practices has grown since 2012;
  • 14,000: Percentage by which acquisitions grew over the same period from 2014-2015;
  • 63+: Percentage by which the number of hospital-employed physicians increased from 2014-2016;
  • 3.1 billion: Increase in Medicare costs for four healthcare services as a result of higher hospital physician employment rates between 2012-2015, according to the study.

Source: Updated Physician Practice Acquisition Study: National and Regional Changes in Physician Employment, Physician Advocacy Institute and Avalere

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