On behalf of PAI, Avalere researchers examined how the increase in physician employment over a three year period between 2012-2015 impacted Medicare spending, including beneficiary spending. Avalere looked at a 22-day episode of care for four Medicare-covered services - echocardiograms, diagnostic cardiac catheterizations, colonoscopies and arthrocentesis - and found that Medicare paid 2.7 billion more for services provided by employed physicians than if those physicians were independent. Medicare beneficiaries faced $411 million more in financial responsibility for those services. Employed physicians were found to perform a higher volume of services in the hospital outpatient department setting that in physician offices, and those services are reimbursed at a higher rate than the same services provided in the physician office setting.
Download the study and press release here.