Hospitals employing higher number of doctors as acquisition of practices grows

The healthcare landscape may be experiencing a shift as both the number of doctors employed by hospitals and the acquisition of physician-owned practices by hospitals increases. 

According to a recent survey by Avalere Health for the Physicians Advocacy Institute, the number of doctors employed by hospitals in the U.S. jumped by almost 50 percent from 2012 to 2015, Medscape reported. Some 95,000 physicians worked at hospitals in 2012, while in 2015 that figure reached 140,000. 

In addition, hospitals acquired 31,000 practices during the same time period, contributing to an 86 percent increase in the number of practices owned by hospitals, the source noted. In 2015, 1 in 4 medical practices were owned by hospitals. 

Medscape also cited figures from the American Medical Association that showed that 60 percent of doctors worked in physician-owned practices in 2015. More than half of doctors owned their practices, while 42 percent were employees. 

In August, the healthcare industry overall added 14,400 jobs, though the rate of employment growth was lower than the average monthly gain of 39,000 seen in the last year, according to Becker's Hospital Review. Ambulatory healthcare services contributed the most jobs, adding 12,900 positions. 

The healthcare landscape may be experiencing a shift as both the number of doctors employed by hospitals and the acquisition of physician-owned practices by hospitals increases.