Physician Practice Roundup—Study finds hospitals may not be 'gobbling up' physician practices and more news

A physician in scrubs in a hospital hallway
On average, hospitals acquired only one or two practices between 2007 and 2017, according to a new study. (Getty/NanoStockk)

Study: Hospitals may not be 'gobbling up' physician practices

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. (Fierce Healthcare)

Chiropractor the latest to plead guilty in Texas kickback scheme

A Texas chiropractor is the latest person to plead guilty in a $200 million federal bribery and kickback case with the bankrupt Forest Park Medical Center in Dallas.

Frank Gonzales Jr., 43, agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to pay and receive healthcare kickbacks and bribes, according to court documents. He is the fifth defendant to so far plead guilty in the scheme, one of the largest in the country. Twenty-one people have been charged.

Gonzales and Shawn Henry, D.O., a Fort Worth spine surgeon, referred patients from West Texas to the Dallas hospital, a five-hour drive, because they were being paid by the hospital’s owners to refer them there for surgeries, prosecutors in the case said. (Dallas News article)

Electronic cigarettes don’t help many smokers quit, study finds

Are electronic cigarettes and other vaping devices useful in helping smokers quit? A study published in the journal PLOS One found the devices haven’t helped many U.S. smokers quit.

Researchers at Georgia State University found that electronic cigarettes did not help adult smokers in the U.S. quit at higher rates than smokers who did not use the products. The study found more than 90% of smokers who used electronic cigarettes were still smoking a year later. More than half continued to smoke and were also vaping. (PLOS One study)