May 7, 2019

A plurality of doctors are now hospital or group employees

For the first time ever, the U.S. has more physicians who work as employees of a hospital system or a practice owned by other physicians (47.4%) than those who run their own practice (45.9%), according to new survey data from the American Medical Association.

The big picture: Doctors have gradually shifted away from owning a practice — 75.8% were independent in 1983, and that number has been falling ever since.

Between the lines: This shift has a big effect on costs. Health insurers pay significantly more for routine patient visits when they are in a hospital-owned practice instead of an independent clinic — even though the services are the same.

Go deeper: States look to cap hospital rates by tying employee health plans to Medicare

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story misstated the percentage of doctors who are employed by hospital systems. 47.4% of physicians work as employees of either a hospital system or a practice owned by other physicians.

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Live updates: Possible U.S. community spread of coronavirus as more countries report cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The CDC said Wednesday U.S. clinicians have found the novel coronavirus in a person who did not recently return from a foreign country nor knowingly have contact with anyone infected, as six more countries reported their first cases.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected over 81,000 others. By Wednesday morning, South Korea had the most cases outside China, with 1,261 infections. Europe's biggest outbreak is in Italy, where 374 cases have been confirmed.

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Mass shooting in Milwaukee: What we know so far

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in 2012. Photo: John Gress/Corbis via Getty Images

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Trump assigns Pence to lead U.S. coronavirus response


President Trump announced at a press briefing Wednesday evening that he'll be putting Vice President Mike Pence in charge of leading the administration's response to the coronavirus.

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