A funny thing happened today as I logged into our practice’s Facebook page… A prompt appeared that Santa Monica Primary Care’s “Price Range” tab had been re-analyzed and that our cost was better represented by a single dollar sign (‘$’) than the two dollar sign (‘$$’) designation it had previously held.
I found this to be timely, for the reason I was logging in was to post about a recent UC Berkeley study showing that consolidation among hospitals and doctors’ practices in California is linked to higher health insurance premiums and higher prices for specialty and primary care.
In California, between 2010 and 2016, the percentage of doctors in medical practices owned by hospitals grew from 25 to 40 percent. The shift is associated with a 12 percent increase in Affordable Care Act insurance premiums, a 9 percent price increase for outpatient doctors’ visits in four specialties — cardiology, oncology, orthopedics and radiology — and a 5 percent price increase for primary care office visits.
This wasn’t a small study, either. The study’s findings are based on an analysis of nearly 71 million California medical claims between 2011 and 2016 for every county in the state.
All across California, large hospital systems are absorbing individual or small group primary care practices. Santa Monica is no exception to this trend. We are proud @santamonicaprimarycare to remain an independent practice. We provide our patients with outstanding and personalized care that cannot be replicated in an institutional setting. The fact that we can do such while provide a great value should make our patients feel twice as good!
𝗦𝗶𝗴𝗻 𝗨𝗽 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗢𝘂𝗿 𝗡𝗲𝘄𝘀𝗹𝗲𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿
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