When Physician Groups Sell Their Souls

For many years, hospital systems in our area did not like owning medical practices.  Now, a huge acquisition binge is taking place. Groups, both big and small, are getting bought by hospitals.

To increase their sale value, the groups try to stay together.  Restrictive covenants are the big tool.  The hospital will take over the job of enforcer if the purchase is finalized. That means doctors who want to leave the practice  must also leave town.  Otherwise, the doctor faces the deep pockets and large legal team of the hospital.All of this is kept kind of secret.  When patients call, looking for the missing doctor, things get really nasty and weird.

Many of you readers have described personal experiences such as in this cartoon.