Hospitals employed 42% of physicians in 2016: 5 study findings

From July 2015 to July 2016, 5,000 physician practices were acquired by hospitals, according to an updated study from the nonprofit Physicians Advocacy Institute and Avalere.

For the study, researchers examined data comprising physician and practice location information and hospital and health system ownership from July 2012 to July 2016.

Here are five findings from the study.

1. Hospitals employed 42 percent of physicians in July 2016, up from 1 in 4 physicians in July 2012.

2. From July 2012 to July 2016, the number of hospital-employed practices increased by 36,000 practices, reflecting a 100 percent incline.

3. As of July 2016, nearly a third (29 percent) of physician practices were hospital-owned.

4. Between July 2015 and July 2016, the number of physicians employed by hospitals increased by 14,000 nationwide. The percentage of employed physicians grew by almost 11 percent during the same time.

5. Physician employment and hospital ownership of practices climbed for the fourth consecutive year nationwide when including July 2015 to July 2016 data. PAI and Avalere found the percentage of hospital-employed physicians grew between 5 percent and 22 percent in every region of the U.S. from July 2015 to July 2016. The same is true for the percentage of hospital-owned practices, which increased between 8 percent and 47 percent.

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