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Physicians Moving to Mid-Sized, Single-Specialty Practices

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Publication Date: August 2007

Publisher(s): Center for Studying Health System Change

Author(s): Allison Liebhaber; Joy M. Grossman

Series: Tracking Report No. 18

Topic: Health (Physicians, nurses, and other health personnel)

Type: Report

Abstract:

The proportion of physicians in solo and two-physician practices decreased significantly from 40.7 percent to 32.5 percent between 1996-97 and 2004-05, according to a national study from the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC). At the same time, the proportion of physicians with an ownership stake in their practice declined from 61.6 percent to 54.4 percent as more physicians opted for employment. Both the trends away from solo and two-physician practices and toward employment were more pronounced for specialists and for older physicians. Physicians increasingly are practicing in mid-sized, single-specialty groups of six to 50 physicians. Despite the shift away from the smallest practices, physicians are not moving to large, multispecialty practices, the organizational model that may be best able to support care coordination, quality improvement and reporting activities, and investments in health information technology.