MedPAC Examines Physician Affiliation and Practice Size

On September 8, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) met to discuss the increase in physician practices that have been purchased by hospitals or health systems, including how increases in physician practice size impact Medicare payment policy.

MedPAC reviewed a private-sector database of physician information and practice characteristics, and merged it with Medicare claims to provide an initial analysis of characteristics of Medicare-billing physicians. In the analysis, Medicare found increasing physician group practice size and a rising share of physicians reporting hospital and health system affiliation.

Specifically, the database showed physician affiliation with a hospital or health system increased from 34 percent to 39 percent from 2012 to 2014, and solo practices fell to just 16 percent of physicians during that same time. The data also show a growth in practice sizes with a sizeable increase in the number of practices reporting 51 or more physicians in the group. According to the database’s data on Medicare-billing physicians, 12 percent of practices have over 100 physicians.

To download the MedPAC presentation, CLICK HERE.

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