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6 - Vertical Integration of Physicians and Hospitals

Three Decades of Futile Building upon a Shaky Foundation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 July 2022

Mark Pauly
Affiliation:
University of Pennsylvania
Flaura Winston
Affiliation:
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Mary Naylor
Affiliation:
University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
Kevin Volpp
Affiliation:
University of Pennsylvania Health System
Lawton Robert Burns
Affiliation:
University of Pennsylvania
Ralph Muller
Affiliation:
University of Pennsylvania Health System
David Asch
Affiliation:
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Rachel Werner
Affiliation:
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Bimal Desai
Affiliation:
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Krisda Chaiyachati
Affiliation:
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Benjamin Chartock
Affiliation:
Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
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Summary

There has been growing interest in the vertical integration of physicians and hospitals during the past decade, as evidenced by multiple literature reviews and research investigations.1 Historically, physicians operated small firms that provided “physicians’ services” to patients who sometimes used facilities provided by separate hospital firms at which many physicians would have “privileges.” This interest in combining the two types of organizations culminated in a December 2020 issue of Health Services Research devoted to the topic that expressed surprise (and disappointment) that integration is not “a miracle cure”.2 Just months earlier, two of the major proponents of vertical integration published a study in the August issue of Health Affairs that came to a similar, “startling” conclusion: the financial integration of physicians and hospitals (e.g., via employment) had no impact on their clinical integration (and perhaps none on quality).

Type
Chapter
Information
Seemed Like a Good Idea
Alchemy versus Evidence-Based Approaches to Healthcare Management Innovation
, pp. 161 - 245
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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