Jay Hancock; Kaiser Health News
Hospitals have gone on a doctor-buying spree in recent years, in many areas acquiring so many independent practices they’ve created near-monopolies on physicians.
Premiums for Obamacare plans sold by New Mexico Health Connections could rise as little as 7 percent next year, says Martin Hickey, the insurance company’s CEO. Or they might soar as much as 40 percent, he said.
There is a good chance that your once-independent doctor is now employed by a hospital. Dr. Michael Reilly, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., orthopedic surgeon, does not believe this is good for physicians, patients or society.
Houston workers who checked the fine print said they weren’t sure whether they were joining an employee wellness program or a marketing scheme.
Premiums for job-based medical insurance rose moderately — 4 percent in 2015 — but employers continued to shift in expenses to workers, according to a new survey.
Why did hospitals binge-buy doctor practices in recent years?
To improve care coordination, lower costs and upgrade patient experiences, say hospitals. To raise costs, gain pricing power and steer patient referrals, say skeptics.