Hospitals and health systems and physician groups increasingly have hired physicians and acquired practices critical to their core operations. Recently, nontraditional players like health plans, large employers, private-equity and venture-capital firms have been acquiring and investing in physician practices. These players understand the central role physicians play in directing large portions of health care dollars and believe that tighter management, technology, data analytics tools and practice innovation can result in better care, better outcomes, better care experience and profitability.
While these physician-practice acquisition trends vary by market, they do not appear to be slowing and, in fact, have been accelerating significantly over the last three years. Consequently, they potentially present both a threat and an opportunity for hospitals and health systems that should be considered.