In the last decade, physicians have been seeking to cut costs wherever they can. Since 2008, the percentage of physicians who are employees of a hospital or belong to a hospital-owned practice has grown from 18 to 21%.
Millions of non-elderly patients whose physicians are not independent of hospitals are finding their private health insurance co-pays and premiums are increasing. Outpatient costs increased an average of $75 per year, bringing the average cost per enrollee to $2400. Inpatient costs have not changed, regardless of the financial ties of the physician.
Quality of care has not been examined to see if the increase in premiums results in better outcomes. Regardless, the higher prices are passed on via employer-sponsored insurance with higher premiums, less health benefits, higher co-pays, and lower wages.
Rapaport, Lisa. “Hospital-owned physician practices linked to higher prices.” Health. Reuters, 19 Oct 2015. Web. 20 Oct 2015.