The Charlotte Observer, December 17, 2012
North Carolina patients are likely to pay more for routine health care if their doctors are employed by a hospital, an investigation by the Observer and the News & Observer of Raleigh has found. It's true for services ranging from heart tests to routine office visits. And it's part of a national shift that experts say is raising costs but not quality. Hospitals are increasingly buying doctors' practices, then sending bills for routine services that are significantly higher than those charged by independent doctors.