Fewer doctors running solo practices

September 2, 2014 Updated Sep 2, 2014 at 7:44 AM EDT

By Elizabeth Carey

September 2, 2014 Updated Sep 2, 2014 at 7:44 AM EDT

There's a major shift in the healthcare industry that will affect your doctor visits. That's the cover story in this week's Business First. It shows how higher costs and regulations are forcing doctors away from solo practices. The trend benefits some patients and hurts others.

More physicians are closing their individual practices as reimbursements drop and costs rise. Nationally, the number of doctors in solo practice dropped from 60 percent in 2013 to 53 percent this year. Doctors are concerned with quality of life issues, along with declining profits. The report says doctors in New York State have trouble negotiating with insurance companies and that led to a sharp drop in solo practices here.

On the bright side, larger collaborations among doctors mean more hours and more services at one site for patients. But, on the down side, it means patients are forced to see different physicians and get less personal care so you lose the doctor/patient relationship.

In other news, downtown Buffalo will welcome a Hilton Garden Inn this fall at the former Tishman Building. Mark Hamister is converting the building into 10 Lafayette. It's a $42 million project that's been underway for two years. The hotel will be complete with a Great American Bar and Grill, which will be open to the public. It also has 18 residential units. 11 are already occupied.

You can read more about these stories in this week's Business First.