Most docs in hospital-owned practices refer patients to that hospital

After hospitals acquire their practices, physicians are far more likely to refer patients to those facilities, according to a paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research. Stanford University researchers analyzed patient admissions and found hospital-employed doctors admitted more than 80 percent of their hospitalized patients to that facility on average. But those hospitals were also more likely to have higher costs and lower-quality care than other area providers, according to the paper. "If these results are valid, then there are large implications," Martin Gaynor, a Carnegie Mellon University health economist, told Kaiser Health News. "Hospital acquisitions of physician practices could disadvantage rival hospitals and harm competition." >> Read the full article at FierceHealthFinance