For the first time ever in the United States, the number of physicians who are employed by someone else is greater than the number of self-employed physicians, according to new data from the American Medical Association. Overall, 47% of all physicians were employees in 2018, up 6% since the last time the AMA did similar research in 2012—compared with 46% who described themselves as “self-employed” in a clinical setting. It’s part of an overall trend away from physician-owned practices that is no surprise to urgent care professionals, who have seen investment groups, health systems, and national urgent care operators eclipse privately owned urgent care enterprises in recent years. This is backed up by the Urgent Care Association’s 2018 Benchmarking Report, which notes that 18% of urgent care centers are owned by a practicing provider, with another 0.4% owned by a physician investor. “Corporate entities” account for ownership of 23.1% of urgent care centers; hospitals make up the greatest share of urgent care ownership (52.8%).
In Urgent Care and Beyond, Employed Physicians Now Outnumber Self-Employed