The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the exodus from private practice to corporate medicine, Fierce Healthcare reports. Between January 1, 2019, and January 1, 2021, hospitals, payers, and other corporate entities acquired 20,900 physician practices, according to the Physicians Advocacy Institute. During that period, 48,400 physicians left independent practice to work for a larger employer. About half of those increases occurred between July 1, 2020, and January 1, 2021. As of January 1, 2021, nearly half of all U.S. practices were owned by hospitals or corporate entities, and 70 percent of physicians were employed by them.