Fees Rise as Hospitals Take Over Physician Practices

As hospitals in Florida, and around the country, take over more physician practices, patients and healthcare payors may see an increase in fees, according to an Orlando Sentinel report.

When hospitals acquire physician practices, it allows hospitals to charge more for services, which causes critics to argue the trend in physician employment is driving up the cost of healthcare.

"As a result of their allegiance to one hospital, physicians may not give patients the range of referral choices they did before," Robert Berenson, MD, an analyst at the Urban Institute's Health Policy Center, a Washington think tank, said in the report.

Regardless of the possible effects on patients, the trend of hospital-employed physicians is growing rapidly — more than 40 percent of primary care physicians nationwide are hospital employees, more than double the number of employed primary care physicians in 2000, according to the report.

More Articles on Hospital-Physician Relationships:

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