Hospitals are buying up physician practices at a record pace

Male doctor in white lab coat
The trend in physician employment shows no signs of slowing down. (Getty/Saklakova)

The number of physicians employed by hospitals grew by 14,000 between July 2015 and July 2016, representing nearly 11% growth. The trend goes hand-in-hand with the rising number of hospitals that are buying physician practices—a whopping 5,000 transactions during the same period. 

The data, compiled by the Physicians Advocacy Institute (PAI) and consulting firm Avalere Health, is further evidence of a larger movement toward consolidation in the healthcare industry.

RELATED: Regulatory changes and technology demands will drive physician practice mergers and acquisitions in 2018

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“As payers and hospitals continue to drive consolidation across the healthcare system, it is becoming more and more difficult for a physician to maintain an independent practice,” said Robert Seligson, PAI president and CEO of the North Carolina Medical Society.

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