Why this physician is worried about consolidation

As healthcare increasingly consolidates, some healthcare leaders are worried about the effect on patient care. 

Taif Mukhdomi, MD, an interventional pain physician at Columbus, Ohio-based Pain Zero, joined Becker's to discuss the healthcare trends he is wary of in 2023.

Question: What healthcare trends are you wary of in 2023?

Editor's note: This response was edited lightly for brevity and clarity. 

Dr. Taif Mukhdomi: The healthcare trend I am most wary of in 2023 is that there may be less options for care for patients. With the growing trend of consolidating care under hospital systems, health insurance-owned care teams and private equity-backed provider groups, the future of healthcare continues to change. 

While the overarching goal of the healthcare system remains maximizing efficiency and outputs, not every aspect of healthcare can be managed as a business. Healthcare isn't and shouldn't be viewed as an "efficient" endeavor, since the human condition isn't always predictable. Declining reimbursements for private practitioners encourages formation of groups and consolidation to help providers sustain their practice models, but I fear consolidation leads to less competition: Certain sectors of healthcare don't face the challenge of healthy competition. This leaves patients with fewer options for care. With that being said, this poses a great opportunity for new private practice groups to take advantage of being nimble and thriving in the changing healthcare climate.

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