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Hoping for savings from hospital-physician integration? Dream on!





A Dream of a Girl Before a Sunrise,” by Karl Bryullov.

The cost-savings value of hospital-physician integration may delusional, writes Peter Ubel, M.D., in Forbes.

That’s certainly the conclusion of a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, led by Hannah Neprash, Ph.D.. out of Harvard Medical School. Neprash and colleagues explored what happened to healthcare spending when physicians and hospitals integrated. They discovered that outpatient spending rises as physicians gain market power through their hospital alliance.

“I trained at the Mayo Clinic and saw firsthand the advantages of physician-hospital integration. Mayo is a paradigm of efficient, high-quality care. But don’t think that the primary reason physicians are uniting with hospitals today is to achieve such efficiencies. Beleaguered providers are struggling to compete in a cutthroat market. Joining forces with hospitals may or may not improve the quality or efficiency of medical care. But it sure as heck gives doctors a fighting chance to negotiate better terms with insurers.

The federal government hopes that promoting hospital-physician integration will lower healthcare expenses. That is probably wishful thinking.”

He explains why in his piece, which you can read by hitting this link.

To read the JAMA study he  cites, please hit this link.


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