Physician consolidation up 'substantially': 51% now part of health systems

Provider consolidation into vertically integrated health systems increased "substantially" from 2016 to 2018, while horizontal consolidation of hospitals and health systems "grew modestly," according to an August 2020 study published in Health Affairs.

The study was led by Michael Furukawa, acting director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's Division of Healthcare Delivery and Systems Research in the Center for Evidence and Practice Improvement.

Researchers discovered that in 2018, 51 percent of U.S. physicians and 72 percent of hospitals were affiliated with one of the country's 637 health systems.

Percent of physicians and primary care physicians affiliated with vertically integrated health systems in the U.S.:

Note: Authors analyzed 2016 and 2018 data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's Compendium of US Health Systems and from IQVIA OneKey.

2016: 40 percent
2018: 51 percent
Increase: 11 percentage points

Primary care physicians
2016: 38 percent
2018: 49 percent
Increase: 11 percentage points

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