Physician Practices in Rural Areas Being Acquired by Hospitals at Dramatic Rate

From the AJMC:

Within the past 3 years, hospital employment and hospital ownership of physician practices has increased in both urban and rural areas, but growth in the number of rural practices owned by hospitals has significantly outpaced that in the urban setting (102.6% growth among rural practices vs 77.8% growth for urban practices), according to an October 2016 report, “Physician Practice Acquisition Study: National and Regional Employment Changes,” written through a partnership between Avalere and the Physicians Advocacy Institute (PAI). The partnership is examining trends in physician employment and practice ownership in hospitals and health systems.

Increasingly, physicians practice in the context of employment arrangements with health systems and hospitals, according to the report. There has been continued growth in hospital and health system acquisitions of physician practices, typically involving multiple physicians and acquisition of the practice’s physical building/equipment; and sustained increases in the number of individual physicians entering into employment arrangements with hospitals and health systems.

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