PAI Research

Physicians Advocacy Institute

Physician Employment Trends

In February 2019, PAI and Avalere released a report that added an additional 18 months of data to the existing study of trends in hospital-driven consolidation, with the total analysis running from July 2012 through January 2018.  Over this latest timeframe, the new data shows a continued trend of hospitals acquiring physician practices in every region of the nation (acquiring an additional 8,000 practices), and continued growth in physician employment by hospitals and health systems (an additional 14,000 physicians shifted from independent practice to employed arrangements).

Over the full 5 1/2 year study period, there was a dramatic, sustained trend of physicians leaving private practice. Over that timeframe, the number of hospital-acquired physician practices increased from 35,700 in 2012 to more than 80,000 in 2018.  Forty-four percent of U.S. physicians were employed by hospitals or health systems by January pf 2018, compared to just one in four in 2012.

Download the study here and the press release here and the PAI Research News and Notes here.


PAI and Avalere Health studied the trend of hospital and health systems' acquisitions of physician practices and physician employment between 2012 and 2016.   The results show a significant increase in hospital-owned medical practices and physician employment during this three-year period.  The number of physician practices owned by hospitals/healths systems rose 86% between 2012-2016, with 32,000 additional physician practices acquired. Hospital and health system employment of physicians also increased by over 50% during these three years. 

The research also found that these trends were consistent in every region of the nation. 

Download the study.