47% of physicians had ownership stake in their practice in 2016: 5 things to know

Laura Dyrda -  

A new American Medical Association report found less than half of patient care physicians currently have ownership stake in their practices. Physicians today are more likely under hospital employment contracts.

Here are five key points from the report:


1. Around 55 percent of patient care physicians working in medical practices that are wholly physician-owned, a decrease from 60.1 percent in 2012.


2. Physicians, especially young physicians, are choosing hospital-owned practices or groups with at least some hospital ownership. However, the growth of directly hospital employed physicians and movement toward hospital-owned practices has slowed over the past two years, with 32.8 percent of physicians working directly for hospitals or in practices with hospital ownership.


3. More than half — 57.8 percent — of patient care physicians provide care in groups with 10 or fewer physicians. There has been a slight uptick in the number of physicians working in large practices with 50 or more physicians.


4. Around two-thirds of physicians under 40 years old were employees in 2016, up from 51.3 percent in 2012. At the same time, the number of employed physicians older than 40 years also grew, but at a slower pace than younger physicians.


5. Around 47.1 percent of patient care physicians report having ownership stake in their practice, down from 53.2 percent in 2012.


"Patients benefit when physicians practice in settings they find professionally and personally rewarding and the AMA strongly supports a physician's right to practice in the setting of their choice," said AMA President Andrew Gurman, MD.


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