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Study: Medical costs up to 20% higher with hospital-owned physician groups
Study: Medical costs up to 20% higher with hospital-owned physician groups

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. 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. "I think this consolidation wave is virtually unstoppable," said James Robinson, the study's lead author and a UC Berkeley professor of health economics. "Left to itself, it will increase the cost of healthcare." Total spending per patient was 10.3% higher for...

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