PAI: Only 30% of Physicians Nationwide Practice Independently

Jun 29, 2021, 16:49 PM by MSDC Staff
The COVID pandemic accelerated the trend of physicians and physician practices being acquired by hospitals and corporate entities.

A new report by the Physician Advocacy Institute (PAI) shows the rapid shift in medicine from independent physician practices to an employed physician model.

The new report, entitled "COVID-19's Impact on Acquisitions of Physician Practices and Physician Employment 2019-2020" was prepared by Avalere Health. The research tracked how the global pandemic impacted the trend towards fewer independent physician practices and more practices owned by outside entities. As expected, the report showed an acceleration towards corporate-owned practices, but the rate may surprise some readers.

See the whole report here.

Some of the more eye-opening data includes:

  • During the study's time period there was a 12% increase in the number of employed physicians.
  • Hospitals and other corporate entities acquired 20,900 additional physician practices in 2019-2020, which is a 25% increase in corporate-owned practices.
  • 18,600 physicians left independent practice to work for hospitals, a 5% increase.
  • By the end of 2020, 69% of physicians were hospital or corporate-employed, with 49.3% working for hospitals
  • In the "South" region, which includes DC, Maryland, and Virginia, almost 29% of physician practices and 15.4% of physicians were newly owned by a hospital or corporate entity. This is the largest percentage in both categories for any of the four regions. However the South still trails in percentage of owned practices total.