Physician groups are becoming a focus of healthcare industry leaders as hospitals continue to compete with outpatient care facilities like retail clinics and surgery centers. Unlike traditional inpatient hospitals, physician groups occupy a unique place in the care continuum. Physician group practices are generally smaller than hospitals with fewer staff members, giving them greater flexibility in areas such as operating hours, service offerings, charity care spending, and more.
However, their small size can also be a detriment. Smaller practices are not able to offer the amount of services a hospital can, leading to lower revenue. Lower budgets mean fewer employed physicians, which can lead to understaffing. Lack of revenue can also lead to issues implementing new technologies, including electronic health record (EHR) systems. For these and other reasons, hospitals and health systems are increasingly willing to purchase or partner with local physician groups. These relationships ensure that patient referrals remain in-network, which can stem revenue loss.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of the top 25 physician groups with the greatest Medicare payments. There seems to be no correlation between practice size and payment amount, with three of the top 10 physician groups reporting fewer than 1,000 employed physicians. The average number of employed physicians for all 25 group practices is 1,780 physicians, with the lowest reported as 267, and the highest as 4,031. As far as specialties, internal medicine is by far the most common among the practices on this list, with 14 of the 25 reporting it as the primary specialty.