Hospital Employed Physicians Increase Costs?

This just in:

Medicare costs for four healthcare services rose $3.1 billion between 2012 and 2015, an increase a Physicians Advocacy Institute study links to a 49 percent uptick in physician employment by hospitals.

For the nonprofit advocacy group’s study, conducted by Avalere Health, researchers examined practice patterns of employed physicians and how treatments performed by employed physicians would differ with practice patterns of independent physicians. The study assumed patients would receive the same procedures in the same geographic area, but in a different care setting.

The study found four cardiology, orthopedic and gastroenterology services cost Medicare $2.7 billion more when administered in hospital outpatient facilities instead of an independent practice. For patients, the services cost $411 million more in a hospital outpatient setting than if performed in an independent physician office.

When analyzing the specific cardiology, orthopedic and gastroenterology services, researchers also found hospital-employed physicians’ practice patterns led to as much as a 27 percent increase in Medicare costs. For beneficiaries, those practice patterns were associated with a 21 percent increase in out-of-pocket costs, according to the study.

Interesting. So a 49% increase in hospital-employed physicians linked to $3.1B in Medicare costs, huh? Does anyone think the hospitals knew this would be the case?  LOL.  C’mon, we all know that those silly administrators are not in it for the money.  You see the hospital commercials in your own town. They all advertise the same thing. You know, how it’s all about the patient.

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  4 comments for “Hospital Employed Physicians Increase Costs?

  1. Private doc
    November 11, 2017 at 11:51 pm

    I bet that can be explained by the “facility fee” charge that they can legally bill on every office visit because the offices are hospital property. That used to be the case anyway and I think the fee could be up to 300 bucks. That’s how they were paying physicians more while seeing fewer patients than a private Doc could make.

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  2. Pat
    November 11, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    But bet on it, these cost increases will be attributed to the greedy docs, not the selfless, pro-patient administrators.

    2+
  3. Steve O'
    November 11, 2017 at 10:06 am

    And, of course, the hospitals pass on all the increased revenue directly to the provider. The Easter Bunny said so.

    2+
  4. George Voigtlander
    November 11, 2017 at 8:42 am

    “When they say it’s not about the money, it’s about the money.” H.L. Mencken
    When they say it’s about the patient (quality, etc), it’s about the money. Anyone in healthcare with their eyes open can see this.

    2+

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