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Medical costs up to 20% higher at hospital-owned physician groups, study finds
Medical costs up to 20% higher at hospital-owned physician groups, study finds

Raising fresh questions about healthcare consolidation, a new study shows hospital ownership of physician groups in California led to 10% to 20% higher costs overall for patient care. The UC Berkeley research, published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn., illustrates the financial risks for employers, consumers and taxpayers as hospital systems nationwide acquire more physician practices. Health insurers typically pass along these increased costs in the form of higher premiums for employers and workers. Consumers also face higher prices with insurance deductibles rising. "I think this consolidation wave is virtually unstoppable," said James Robinson, the...

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