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small fish chasing big fish on chalkboard drawing Just 30% of physicians in the United States were practicing independently at the start of 2021, the consequence of significant acquisition activity by hospitals and private equity groups. (Photo: Shutterstock)

The COVID-19 pandemic was especially hard for independent physician practices, driving many to rethink their payment models and accelerate the movement toward value-based care arrangements. Unfortunately, that coincided with an increase in acquisitions of independent practices by larger health care systems. This trend, many experts warn, results in increased prices and reduced competition.

Increased consolidation of physician practices has even caught the attention of the Federal Trade Commission, which this spring launched an investigation seeking claims data from major insurers to better understand how the trend is impacting the marketplace.

Emily Payne

Emily Payne is the current deputy editor for ALM's Regulated Markets and former managing editor for BenefitsPRO. A Wisconsin native, she spent the past eight years writing and editing for various athletic and fitness publications. She holds an English degree and Business certificate from the University of Wisconsin.

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