August 16, 2017

Physician Practice Ownership Has Greater Influence on Hospital Selection Than Cost & Quality Do - New Research Insights

Hospital ownership of physician practices increased rapidly over the past decade, and by 2015 nearly 4 in 10 practices were owned by a hospital. Prior research has shown that physician integration with hospitals is associated with higher prices, but the latest evidence suggests it also affects which hospital a patient chooses to visit. A study in the Journal of Health Economics, supported by a NIHCM Foundation research grant, found that a patient is significantly more likely to choose the hospital that owns her doctor’s practice—even if the costs are higher and the quality lower than at other local hospitals.

NIHCM’s one-page Research Insights summarizes the key findings.