Greater healthcare costs associated with increased physician–hospital integration

Written by Ilana Landau, Editor

In a new meta-analysis, researchers have observed that as physicians increasingly integrate with hospitals, they may be pressured into offering a greater volume of services to patients. These are associated with higher healthcare costs but not greater healthcare quality. Physician–hospital integration occurs when physicians are directly employed by hospitals, or when physicians and hospitals jointly contract with a health insurance provider. In a new study, Rice University (TX, USA) researchers have analyzed insurance claims and contracting data to determine the annual healthcare spending totals for patients treated at physician-owned practices compared with integrated, hospital-owned institutions. Researchers observed that as physicians...

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