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Southern California doctor pooling plan sparks fear

Wall Street Journal, May 17, 2010

The Hospital Association of Southern California is developing a plan for hospitals around southern California to form a foundation that would supply them with doctors. The entity would own clinics and centralize administrative matters including billing and electronic medical records. The proposal is just one sign of the growing alignment between doctors and hospitals, the Wall Street Journal reports. The mergers have also drawn worries that big, integrated health systems may be able to drive up prices because of their leverage in negotiations with private insurers and the higher reimbursement that hospitals often get even for outpatient services.