According to a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, hospitals and healthcare systems may want to rethink plans to acquire physician practices to increase care coordination. The new research finds that hospital ownership of physician groups in California led to a 10 to 20 percent increase in overall costs. The study was conducted to assess whether total expenditures per patient were higher in physician practices owned by hospitals or multihospital systems compared to organizations owned by participating physicians. Researchers analyzed total expenditures of care provided to 4.5 million patients treated by integrated medical groups and independent practice association in California between 2009 and 2012. Expenditures per patient were 10.3 percent higher for hospital-owned physician organizations than physician-owned organizations after researchers adjusted for patient severity and other factors.
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