Outpatient Care Costs Increase as Hospitals Buy Physician Practices

OCTOBER 20, 2015
The current trend of hospitals purchasing physician practices to create efficiencies and ensure continuity of care seems to have resulted in increased costs of care.
 
A new analysis published in JAMA Internal Medicine has found that outpatient physician prices increased during their consolidation with hospitals between 2008 and 2012.
 
This is common sense to me. Once you add up all the overhead of a large health system, you will see that it will cost more to provide care than when the physician practiced separately. 
 
What will happen in the future is the big question. The study suggests the new model has given the integrated health system more power to control the marketplace. 
 
Could potential antitrust issues cause a reexamination of this trend? The article suggests that might happen. 
 
This is definitely an issue to keep your eye on as health care reform continues.

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