In the past, hospitals hired primarily family doctors who would refer patients to the facility for medical tests. Now, hospitals are employing more specialists.Another reason specialists are consolidating with hospital systems is the high cost of bringing on other experienced specialists that have insurance "tails" from their former practice. These insurance "tails" assure continued malpractice insurance coverage on patients from their former practice as they start employment (and new malpractice insurance coverage) with their new group.
For example, having a neurologist or cardiologist on staff allows quicker patient consults than waiting for a private-practice doctor to come to the hospital.
"The reason we even employ specialists is to provide inpatient coverage on our floors in the hospital," said Cindy Sheets, senior vice president ambulatory services for Mount Carmel Health System.
Not only do doctors need portability of their own health insurance from one job to the next, they need portability of their malpractice insurance, too.
Addendum: Another example in Asheville, NC.