Was your physician’s clinic recently sold? Here’s how it might affect you

And the proof is in the pudding. Yes, virtually all Port Townsend physicians work for the hospital. Are costs higher here? You bet. Lots. Now a study by UC Berkeley shows it’s more than just us.

If a local hospital recently bought your physician’s practice, chances are the costs of your treatment will go up.

The intent behind hospital/physician consolidation was to achieve better coordination and care for patients. However, some experts think consolidation reduces competition, resulting in higher prices.


2 thoughts on “Was your physician’s clinic recently sold? Here’s how it might affect you

  1. When I came to PT I joined a 6 doc clinic. A year or two later we all went solo but kept working well together. So, for about 25 years I ran my own business. I hired and “let go”, I paid payroll and pension plan, worked out the quarterly and annual taxes, paid the bills for supplies and insurance and rent, and tried to figure out and perform the ever increasing bureaucratic demands. Then……..new docs, just out of training, didn’t want to do that. They wanted to be employed, taken care of and make a good salary and have a life. I had been spending about 15 to 20 hours a week at my desk at home in addition to my 50 or 60 hours a week at the clinic and hospital. Jefferson Healthcare saw that to retain and recrute new docs they had to employ them. In 2003 after many Medicare cuts of reimbursement and increasing expenses of everything else, and no salary increase for 10 years for my staff and myself, I accepted the offer of employment too. The relief of burden was fabulous, and slowly the elimination of autonomy built increasing frustration. Retirement at age 67 ended that, at a good time.


    1. I agree and understand Dr. Lynn’s frustration at the forces that were becoming aligned against a solo practitioner. Physicians these days are being forced, from Congressional actions and insurance companies to practice ‘single issue’ health care. A patient cannot come in and lay out a litany of issues for the practitioner to assemble into a bigger picture. They are forced to address one issue per visit. That’s how they get reimbursed and it is a huge complaint for both patients and medical staff. Forced use of electronic medical records have added a huge burden on physicians with virtually no real payback and the physician is not reimbursed for the time it takes to fill out these screens. The very act of being forced to put in EMR systems favors consolidation of services, and everyone implementing those systems knew it. While Dr. Lynn was gaining relief from the burden of paperwork, billing, etc. the public was seeing their face time with physicians shrink. The supposed goals of better, cheaper care seem like a mirage foisted on us by insurance companies and the federal government. Universal healthcare will go a long ways to helping rectify this, it’s not a panacea, but will get the insurance companies out of way. Most Americans have no idea how much easier it is to go and see a doctor in virtually every other industrialized country in the world. The U.S. ranks far down the list in healthcare, unless you are wealthy.


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