WASHINGTON, D.C.–Fifteen years ago, I proudly hung a sign outside my office with my name followed by “MD.” I had started my own business. A small private medical practice is much like a mom-and-pop store, where the doctor has the autonomy to decide the hours, which insurance to accept, which patients to see and how much to charge.
Over the years, my practice has grown, and now I have several doctors working along with me. But I may be an endangered species. Across the nation hospitals are purchasing physician practices at an extraordinary pace. In part, it’s due to complexities in managing chronically ill patients, but mostly it’s due to the way doctors and hospitals are being paid for their
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