Physician practices acquired by hospitals improve management of chronic diseases, study finds

Physician practices that are acquired by hospitals usually increase their use of techniques that better manage chronic illnesses, according to a study conducted by New York City-based Weill Cornell Medicine scientists.

Researchers used three national surveys of physician groups to analyze the extent to which practices use population-based strategies such as disease registries, patient educators and nurse care managers to support patients with chronic illnesses manage and coordinate care. They concluded that the physician practices that were purchased by hospitals were better positioned to implement these care management practices.

The researchers also evaluated whether practices that were acquired by hospitals increased their use of care management processes. They found that practices acquired by hospitals, especially large ones, implemented these processes significantly more than ones that remain independent. Practices' use of EMRs was not affected by hospital ownership, the study showed.

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