During the past 10 years, there has been a shift away from physicians working in private practice, according to survey results released by the American Medical Association (AMA).
Carol K. Kane, Ph.D., analyzed data from the AMA Physician Practice Benchmark Surveys to assess changes in the ownership and organization of physician practices during the past decade.
Findings showed that between 2012 and 2022, the share of physicians who work in practices wholly owned by physicians (private practices) dropped by 13 percentage points from 60.1 to 46.7 percent. Furthermore, practice size shifted from small to large practices, and the percentage of physicians in practices with ≤10 physicians fell from 61.4 to 51.8 percent over the decade. In contrast, the percentage in practices with ≥50 physicians grew from 12.2 to 18.3 percent.
Just over four in 10 physicians (42 percent) worked in single-specialty practices versus 26.7 percent in multispecialty practices: a shift of about 4 percentage points toward multispecialty practice since 2012. There was a split noted between physicians as owners (44.0 percent) and employees (49.7 percent) in 2022.
“The AMA analysis shows that the shift away from independent practices is emblematic of the fiscal uncertainty and economic stress many physicians face due to statutory payment cuts in Medicare, rising practice costs, and intrusive administrative burdens,” Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, M.D., M.P.H., president of the AMA, said in a statement. “Practice viability requires fiscal stability, and the AMA’s Recovery Plan for America’s Physicians is explicit in calling for reform to our Medicare payment system that has failed to keep up with the costs of running a medical practice.”
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