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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.

Top 25 Physician Groups by Medicare Payments

  Physician Group Name Medicare Payments Specialty Number of Physicians

1.

Florida Cancer Specialists and Research Institute

$594,459,633

Oncology

267

2.

Texas Oncology

$488,220,726

Oncology

552

3.

Arizona State Physicians Association

$444,078,168

Pediatrics

1,324

4.

Meridian Health Partners

$407,343,923

Internal Medicine

1,847

5.

Northwell Health Physician Partners

$394,118,598

Internal Medicine

3,410

6.

Franciscan Physician Network

$382,318,091

Family Practice

2,436

7.

HealthCare Partners IPA

$256,935,336

Internal Medicine

4,031

8.

Cleveland Clinic

$243,397,461

Internal Medicine

3,795

9.

NYC University Physicians Network

$221,062,168

Internal Medicine

2,714

10.

North Texas Specialty Physicians

$219,197,104

Family Practice

891

11.

IPA of Nassau/Suffolk Counties

$217,169,529

Anesthesiology

643

12.

Palo Alto Medical Foundation

$213,080,035

Internal Medicine

2,400

13.

21st Century Oncology

$212,655,469

Radiology -

Radiation Oncology

334

14.

Bayfront Health Medical Group

$208,157,539

Radiology -

Diagnostic Radiology

610

15.

The Emory Clinic

$192,031,499

Internal Medicine

2,432

16.

Broward Health Physician Group

$191,746,816

Internal Medicine

1,455

17.

OSF Medical Group

$183,830,864

Family Practice

1,099

18.

Regional Cancer Care Associates

$175,196,531

Oncology

147

19.

Health First Medical Group

$173,467,571

Internal Medicine

842

20.

Vidant Medical Group

$171,972,766

Internal Medicine

1,324

21.

Sutter Medical Foundation

$171,252,786

Family Practice

1,518

22.

Mayo Clinic Health System - Rochester

$169,470,249

Internal Medicine

3,475

23.

Apogee Physicians

$167,527,549

Internal Medicine

1,862

24.

University of Penn Medical Group

$166,180,197

Internal Medicine

2,396

25.

Johns Hopkins University Health System

$165,123,676

Internal Medicine

2,709

Fig 1. Data from Definitive Healthcare based on self-reporting and reports from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).