"Just like what's happened with local book stores and corner grocers, it is increasingly hard for local physicians to own their practice. The incentives are stacked against them."
Another PAI analysis earlier this year found Medicare payments for three common services are up to three times higher when performed in a hospital outpatient department instead of a physician-owned office.
"Medicare spends less when patients receive treatment in a physician's office, yet the number of physician-owned medical practices is rapidly shrinking," said Kelly Kenney, PAI executive vice president.
"The shift toward more physicians employed by hospitals could mean higher costs for the entire healthcare system. For patients, it impacts both where they receive and how much they pay for care."