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PPM Industry Shaky After Fall Of MedPartners

Speaking of profitability problems, HMOs can at least be happy they're not physician practice management companies. The PPM industry is trying to find its sea legs after MedPartners announced it would dump its 238 physician practices and concentrate on its pharmacy benefit management and other lines of business.

The MedPartners decision effectively ices talk of creating a PPM trade association. Its departure and FPA Medical Management's bankruptcy leave PhyCor the last of the PPM giants, and PhyCor is wounded. A year ago, PhyCor traded at $28.50 a share. In late December, its stock price was $4.75.

Observers say hospitals and regional PPMs may fill the MedPartners void.

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