The number of physician practices owned by hospitals and health systems jumped 86% from 2012 to 2015, according to a survey conducted by Avalere Health for the Physicians Advocacy Institute (PAI). The number of physicians employed by hospitals increased by nearly 50% during the same period, from 95,000 doctors in 2012 to more than 140,000 physicians in 2015, the survey shows.
Hospitals acquired 31,000 practices during the study period, and 1 in 4 medical practices were hospital owned in 2015. Moreover, 38% of physicians worked for hospitals in that year, the report said. In comparison, a 2014 survey conducted by physician recruiting firm Merritt Hawkins for the Physicians Foundation showed that only 35% of physicians identified themselves as independent; among family physicians, the percentage dropped to 31%.