A study reveals key differences between hospital-owned practices and physician-owned practices.
A study conducted by Rice University and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas looked at healthcare claims over two years from hospital-owned practices and compared them to claims from physician-owned practices.Here’s what they found about cost and quality:
Patients with PPO insurance coverage incurred spending that is 5.8 percent higher when treated by doctors in hospital-owned versus physician-owned practices.
The difference between hospital- and physician-owned practices appears attributable to greater service use rather than higher prices. For four out of five common diagnostic tests, including X-rays and MRIs, claims per patient were equal to or higher in hospital-owned practices versus physician-owned.
There was no consistent difference in quality of care in measurables such as 30-day hospital readmission rates, diabetic care or mammography screening between the two practice types.
Patients receiving care at physician-owned practices spent on average $4,451.80 annually, compared to $4,824.93 when receiving care from hospital-owned practices.
Some of the biggest cost differences occurred with imaging ($669.04 at physician-owned compared to $781.39 for hospital-owned practices) and durable medical equipment ($315.09 to $356.50). Spending on unclassified services, such as operating and recovery rooms claims, was 21.4 percent higher for hospital-owned practices.