5 statistics on the state of independent practice — Has physician employment been overestimated?

Healthcare is seemingly trending toward hospital employment, but independent physicians provide a slew of benefits to the healthcare system.

Here are five statistics to note:

1. A Health Affairs article found independent practices decrease avoidable hospitalizations by 33 percent.

2. A 2016 Harvard Medical Study found independent physicians have stronger incentives to prevent hospitalizations as opposed to hospital-employed physicians.

3. Compared to independent physicians, a JAMA 2014 study found costs for services associated with hospital-owned physicians increased 40 percent and multi-hospital-owned physicians rallied 56 percent.

4. An American Medical Association study suggests the movement to employment may not be as commonly thought. The study found between 2012 and 2014, 60.7 percent of physicians were in practices between 10 or fewer physicians.

5. The AMA study also found the practice owner physicians' shares fell from 53.2 percent in 2012 to 50.8 percent in 2014. However, the AMA study findings are "in sharp contrast to predictions suggested by another prominent study."

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