108,700+ physicians move to employment in the last 3 years: 6 findings

More than 108,700 physicians have shifted to employment from 2019 to 2021, with 58,200 physicians joining hospitals and 50,500 moving to other corporate entities, according to an April report from Avalere.

Six findings:

1. Of the 108,700 physicians, 83,000 (76 percent) became employees since the COVID-19 pandemic.

2. In 2021, the number of employed physicians increased from 69.3 percent to 73.9 percent, leaving just 25.9 percent of physicians in private practice.

3. From 2019 through 2021, hospitals and health systems saw a 9 percent growth in physician practice acquisitions, according to the report. Corporate entities saw an 86 percent growth.

4. Hospitals and corporate entities, including private equity firms and insurers, now own 52.1 percent of physician practices — hospitals own 26.4 percent and other corporate entities own 27.2 percent.

5. Over the three-year period, the South saw the highest rate of acquisitions by corporate entities, a 94 percent increase.

6. At 63.5 percent, the Midwest continued to have the highest percentage of physicians employed by hospitals and health systems, growing 9 percent over the three-year period.

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