Association of Financial Integration Between Physicians and Hospitals With Commercial Health Care Prices

JAMA Internal Medicine
October 2015
Neprash, H.T., Chernew, M.E., Hicks, A.L., Gibson, T., and McWilliams, J.M.

Financial integration between physicians and hospitals may help health care provider organizations meet the challenges of new payment models but also may enhance the bargaining power of provider organizations, leading to higher prices and spending in commercial health care markets. Using regression analysis, the researchers estimated the relationship between changes in physician-hospital integration from January 1, 2008, through December 31, 2012, in 240 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) and concurrent changes in spending. They found that financial integration between physicians and hospitals has been associated with higher commercial prices and spending for outpatient care. The goal of the study was to assess the association between recent increases in physician-hospital integration and changes in spending and prices for outpatient and inpatient services.

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