April 20, 2022 – A recent study by Avalere and the Physicians Advocacy Institute shows that, as of January 2022, 74% of physicians in the United States are employed by hospitals or corporate entities, growing from 62% in January 2019.
Researchers cited the pandemic as a contributing factor to this shift, finding that 108,700 additional physicians became employees of hospitals or corporations since January 2019, with 83,000 of them taking changing after the onset of the pandemic.
“COVID-19 drove physicians to leave private practice for employment at an even more rapid pace than we’ve seen in recent years, and these trends continued to accelerate in 2021,” Physicians Advocacy Institute CEO Kelly Kenney said in a news release. “This study underscores the fact that physicians across the nation are facing severe burnout and strain. The pressures of the pandemic forced many independent physicians to make difficult decisions to sell their practices to hospitals, health insurers or other corporate entities.”
In addition to the pandemic, researchers found that acquisitions by hospitals and other corporate entities, like health insurers and private equity firms, are other contributing factors. According to the study, Avalere found that hospitals and other corporate entities acquired 36,200 additional physician practices from 2019 to 2022.