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No quality improvement seen in hospitals hiring physicians

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A study in the Annals of Internal Medicine reports that “During the past decade, hospitals have increasingly become employers of physicians. The study’s findings suggest that physician employment alone probably is not a sufficient tool for improving hospital care.”

The study involved comparing 803 hospitals that switched to an integrated model  with 2,085 hospitals that did not begin to employ physicians.

Four quality metrics were used: risk-adjusted hospital-level mortality rates, 30-day readmission rates, length of stay and patient-satisfaction scores for common medical conditions. Researchers found no association between hospital employment of physicians  and improvement in any of the four metrics, even up to two years after starting to employ physicians.

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