Sentences to Ponder

More than half of all hospital admissions, 60% to be precise, occur in the 200 largest hospital systems. Hospitals now own more than half of physician practices, and large hospital systems are gobbling up rural and smaller hospitals at an accelerating rateā€¦

As Humpty Dumpty said in Through a Looking Glass, “The question is: which is to be the master, that’s all.” The new question is: In the physician world, will hospital systems, now the dominant physician employer, dictate and direct what physicians can do, rather than physician organizations?

Richard Reece at The Health Care Blog.

Comments (5)

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  1. Alex says:

    It’s stuff like this that made me decide not to study medicine. The life of a doctor is becoming decreasingly independent, and increasingly under the control of government, insurance, and large hospital chains.

  2. Devon Herrick says:

    We wouldn’t be having this discussion; or having these worries, if physician services were not controlled by a regulatory cartel; and hospital care paid almost entirely (97%) by third-party payers. Unfortunately, the interaction of these conditions spell trouble for any plans to hold down inpatient costs.

  3. Brian says:

    I have pondered those sentences – the same thing is happening in other industries. I would guess that the consequences for doctors and patients, however, might be greater than for the consumers and sellers in other industries.

  4. John says:

    Doesn’t this suggest the natural movement towards monopolized healthcare, resulting in the disempowerment of the people who know most about their profession? Maybe we need doctors unions to put control of medicine back into the hands of the physicians… Maybe then @Alex would reconsider his objection to studying medicine?

  5. aurelius says:

    This might discourage more people from becoming doctors.