Comparison of Care in Hospital Outpatient Departments and Independent Physician Offices

April 2021

Medicare patients who receive care in a hospital outpatient department (HOPD) are more likely to be poorer and have more severe chronic conditions than Medicare patients treated in an independent physician office (IPO), according to a study released today by the AHA. The study also specifically examined the characteristics of Medicare cancer patients seen in HOPDs and IPOs and found similar results.

The findings of this new study, conducted for the AHA by KNG Health Consulting LLC, highlight why actions implemented in the last few years by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), as well as other proposals under consideration by Congress to reimburse hospitals the same amount as physician offices, could threaten access to care for the most vulnerable patients and communities.