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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

Minnesota: Workforce Turnover Contributes to Health Care Physician Trend Towards Working in Larger Practices

Physicians are increasingly working in large group practices — including hospital-owned systems. A recently published study in the Annals of Internal Medicine by University of Minnesota School of Public Health and Harvard researchers show gradual workforce turnover also plays a role in driving this change, as older physicians leave small practices and newer doctors join larger ones.

The researchers analyzed Medicare claims from 2008 to 2017 and identified entering physicians who started treating Medicare patients during that time and exiting physicians who stopped treating Medicare patients. The researchers assessed the size and hospital ownership of practices that physicians entered and exited.

The researchers found:

“Physicians entering Medicare are much more likely than physicians exiting Medicare to work in large, hospital-owned practices,” says study lead Dr. Hannah Neprash, an assistant professor in the School of Public Health. “This pattern suggests that natural turnover in the physician workforce likely contributes to consolidation in physician markets.”

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