Managed Care

How capitation's prevalence varies with practice size

More than one-third of all physicians now have capitation contracts that account for at least some of their practice revenues, according to recent survey data from the American Medical Association. That proportion rises to one-half when only members of the two main primary care specialties are considered. In general, the larger a physician's practice, the more likely he or she is to draw some income from capitation contracts. Also, while recent years have seen fluctuations in the average size of physician practices (an arithmetic mean pulled upward by the biggest practices), another index of the growing popularity of larger groups — the percentage of practices above a certain size — has shown fairly steady recent growth.

SOURCE: SOCIOECONOMIC MONITORING SYSTEM, CENTER FOR HEALTH POLICY RESEARCH, AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION, CHICAGO, 1997.

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