Fierce Healthcare, Paige Minemyer, July 9, 2018

A new study dives into trends in hospital-physician practice consolidation.

A new study challenges the idea that hospitals are “gobbling up” physician practices.

While many hospitals are acquiring physician practices, it’s rarely en masse, according to a study published this week in Health Affairs. On average, hospitals acquired only one or two practices between 2007 and 2017, the study said.

Acquisition rates varied widely between specialties: More than 51% of oncology practices that were independent in 2007 had been purchased by a hospital or health system by 2017 compared to just under 10% of ophthalmology practices.

Sayeh Nikpay, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy at Vanderbilt University, told FierceHealthcare previous studies have tried to estimate the impact of vertical integration on costs and
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