In Health Care, Bigger Isn’t Always Better

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<p>Rates of preventable hospital admissions are as much as one-third lower for small physician practices than for larger practices, according to a new <a href="/publications/journal-article/2014/aug/small-primary-care-physician-practices-have-low-rates">Commonwealth Fund–supported study</a> released today by <em>Health Affairs.</em></p><p>The study, led by Lawrence P. Casalino, M.D., of Weill Cornell Medical College, finds that practices with one or two physicians have 33 percent fewer preventable admissions than practices with between 10 and 19 doctors. The findings appear to counter the commonly held assumption that larger medical groups provide better-quality care than solo and other small practices.</p>
<p>Coming at a time when many primary care practices are consolidating into larger medical groups, the new research calls into question the wisdom of insurers paying lower rates to physicians in smaller practices, which typically have no negotiating leverage. As the authors point out, lower admission rates can mean lower patient care costs overall.</p> Read the brief.