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Doctors and hospitals team up for payment reform

The Texas Tribune, August 10, 2010

Across Texas, hospital systems are scooping up physician groups and solo practitioners, scrambling to create the kinds of coordinated medical teams that federal healthcare reform puts a premium on. “Nobody really knows the right thing to do, but they’re doing something — because doing nothing is like you’re standing in the middle of the highway about to get run over,” says Norman Chenven, MD, founder and CEO of the Austin Regional Clinic. “Hospitals are approaching physicians, physicians are approaching hospitals. Nobody wants to be left standing at the station when the train leaves.” But some health care providers say the gold rush-style push is too much, too soon. They say physician groups are cashing in their chips for fear of being left behind and that hospitals are going on doctor spending sprees without knowing how — or even whether — these new medical teams will work.