Analysis by the American Hospital Association (AHA) reveals hospitals are not near the top of the list of groups acquiring physicians.
Physician acquisition is largely driven by private equity, physician groups, and payers, according to a report published by AHA.
The analysis of Levin Associates data finds that hospitals and health systems are not among the top three groups acquiring physicians since 2019.
Private equity makes up the majority of physician acquisition at 65%, followed by physician groups at 14%, insurers at 11%, and hospitals and health systems at 4%.
Additionally, the data shows that in deals where payers acquire physician practices, the average number of acquired physicians per deal was more than 10 times higher for insurers than for any other acquiring group. To this point, the report highlights acquisitions by CVS Health of Oak Street Health and Signify Health in deals that were valued at nearly $20 billion.
A separate report conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of AHA looked at the factors driving physician practice acquisition. Of the physicians polled, 94% said they believe it has "become more financially and administratively difficult to operate a practice."
Further, 81% said that commercial insurer policies and practices have "interfered with their ability to practice medicine" and 84% reported they have had job interference from commercial payers.
"As physician polling data has shown, most physicians are choosing to become employed rather than operate their own practice due to increased costs and burden from policies like commercial insurer prior authorizations," AHA wrote.
Medicare Advantage specifically has been identified as the most burdensome payer program when it comes to obtaining prior authorization.
A survey by the Medical Group Management Association revealed that 77% of physicians said they have hired or redistributed staff to work on prior authorizations due to an increase in requests, while 60% said there are at least three different employees involved in completing a single prior authorization request.
Jay Asser is the contributing editor for strategy at HealthLeaders.
The American Hospital Associated examined data of Levin Associates and found that more physician acquisition is done by private equity, physician groups, and payers than it is by hospitals.
Since 2019, private equity gobbled up 65% of physicians, followed by physician groups at 14%, insurers at 11%, and hospitals and health systems at 6%.
In deals where insurers acquired physician practices, the average number of acquired physicians per deal was more than 10 times higher for payers than for any other acquiring entity.