While medical practice arrangements seem to have changed dramatically over the last 30 years, the majority of physicians still work in small practices, the American Medical Association reported.

In a 2014 AMA survey, almost 61% of respondents worked in practices of 10 or fewer physicians. That’s down from the 80% reported by the AMA in 1983, but it still qualifies as majority. Over that same period, the proportion of physicians working in practices of 25 or more increased from 5% to 20%.

These changes in practice size were related to changes in practice ownership, the AMA noted. In 1983, the percentage of physicians who were the owners of their practices was 76%. In 2014, that number was 51%.

Looking at short-term data comparing the 2014 survey with one from 2012, the AMA found that the “share of physicians who worked directly for a hospital or in practices that were at least partially owned by a hospital increased from 29% in 2012 to 32.8% in 2014. Over that 2-year period, the share of physicians who were directly employed by a hospital increased from 5.6% to 7.2%, while the percentage of physicians who were in solo practice decreased from 18.4% to 17.1%, the AMA said.

rfranki@frontlinemedcom.com

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