America’s Doctors Are Facing an Epidemic.
By Association of Independent Doctors.
Every day hospitals are buying up medical practices, turning independent doctors into hospital employees. That trend is not healthy for patients or for doctors. It hurts communities and our nation’s health-care system.
When doctors give up their independence to work for hospitals, studies show that health-care costs go up, quality goes down, access to care is limited, jobs are lost, and doctors feel less satisfied. Everybody pays.
In 2000, well over half of all physicians in the United States worked for themselves. Now, that number is closer to one in three.
The percentage of doctors who are independent has dropped from 57% in 2000 to 36% in 2013. -Accenture
The trend persists because many doctors are looking for a way out from under the growing administrative headaches of running a practice in the face of shrinking reimbursements. Meanwhile, hospitals are seeking ways to gain market share, reduce competition, and increase their bargaining power with payers, which they achieve when they buy physicians’ practices.
Because hospitals get paid more than independent doctors – often many times more – for the same services, insurance companies pass those costs on to consumers through higher premiums. The government passes on the higher costs of Medicare to taxpayers.
Association of Independent Doctors
A national nonprofit, A.I.D. works on behalf of physicians, patients and employers to raise awareness and represent the interests of independent physicians. A.I.D. is working to educate patients, insurance providers, and government representatives about why America’s health-care system needs doctors to remain independent.