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Growth of Single-Specialty Medical Groups

March/April 2004
Health Affairs, Vol. 23, No. 2
Lawrence P. Casalino, Hoangmai H. Pham, Gloria J. Bazzoli

Using site-visit data from the Community Tracking Study, this paper shows that specialists are increasingly forming large single-specialty medical groups, particularly in orthopedics and cardiology, where new technologies have increased the number of diagnostic imaging and surgical services that can be provided in outpatient settings. Specialists are also forming large groups to gain negotiating leverage with health plans; the decline of managed care and the fading of the perception of a specialist surplus has made single- rather than multispecialty groups an attractive means to gain leverage. We explore possible consequences of this shift in physician practice organization and its policy implications.

Free access to this article is available at the Health Affairs Web site.


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The Center for Studying Health System Change Ceased operation on Dec. 31, 2013.