KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Business Trends Shape Medical Practices

Minnesota Public Radio reports that independent practices increasingly face an uphill battle while the Minneapolis Star Tribune notes that the "company doctor" is making a comeback in workplaces across the nation.

Minnesota Public Radio: Independent Medical Practices Find It Harder To Stay That Way
The age of the traditional doctor's office is ending. Powerful forces are pushing independent doctors to merge with major medical systems. Some health care business experts say we could see a new wave of consolidation in the next several years, as costs rise and government and private health plans cut payments (Stawicki, 5/16).

Related, earlier KHN story: Hospitals Lure Doctors Away From Private Practice (Gold, 10/13/2010).

Minneapolis Star Tribune: Company Doc Makes A Comeback
At Anoka County and workplaces across Minnesota and beyond, the company doctor is making a comeback. Businesses and, increasingly, government entities are sinking thousands of dollars into on-site clinics to try to curb medical costs, boost productivity and retain workers. "Employers are taking this tack - which for most businesses is pretty extreme - that they need to get more directly involved in providing health care for their workers," said Dr. Bruce Hochstadt, who specializes in on-site clinics for Mercer, a benefits consulting firm. Demand for workplace health clinics has been rising for the past five years, according to the Center for Studying Health System Change in Washington, D.C. (Crosby, 5/14).

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