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When the doctor has a boss



The traditional model of doctors hanging up their own shingles is fading fast, as more go to work directly for hospitals that are building themselves into consolidated health-care providers.

The latest sign of the continued shift comes from a large Medical Group Management Association survey, which found that the share of responding practices that were hospital-owned last year hit 55%, up from 50% in 2008 and around 30% five years earlier.

The biggest U.S. physician-recruiting firm, Merritt Hawkins, a unit of AMN Healthcare Inc., said the share of its doctor searches that were for positions with hospitals hit 51% for the 12 months ended in March, up from 45% a year earlier and 19% five years ago. The number of searches for physician groups and partnerships has dropped.


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