Hospital ownership of physician practices—including urgent care centers—has jumped a whopping 86% in just 4 years, according to new data from the Physicians Advocacy Institute. That means one out of every four practices is now owned by a hospital, overall. For hospitals, owning practices not physically connected to their facility allows them to keep patients “in the family” even when they’re not on campus, which also allows them to keep fees in-house as well of course. Such integrated delivery systems also allow hospitals to provide care in a setting of the patient’s choosing, thereby bolstering relationships with the community. For the physician, the benefits of hospital ownership tend to be more diverse, varying from case to case. Some physicians who may have previously owned their facility prefer not being “the boss,” while others may simply find the competitive marketplace too challenging, taking time away from patient care.
More Hospitals Are Buying Physician Practices