Hospital ownership of doc groups leads to higher costs
Hospitals and healthcare systems may want to rethink plans to acquire physician practices to increase care coordination. A new study finds that hospital ownership of physician groups in California led to a 10 to 20 percent increase in overall costs.
James C. Robinson, Ph.D., of the University of California, School of Public Health, Berkeley, and Kelly Miller, of the Integrated Healthcare Association in Oakland, California, published their findings in the latest issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. They conducted the study to determine whether total expenditures per patient were higher in physician organizations owned by local hospitals or multihospital systems compared with physician organizations owned by participating physicians.
Robinson and Miller analyzed date on total expenditures for care provided to 4.5 million patients treated by integrated medical groups and independent practice associations in California between 2009 and 2012. Of the 158 organizations studied, 118–or 75 percent–were physician-owned, 19 organizations–or 12 percent–were owned by local hospitals and 21 organizations (13 percent) were owned by multihospital systems.
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