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Physician Groups In N.Y. and Calif. Changing Hands

Kaiser Permanente physicians in Albany, N.Y., are close to a merger with the region's largest medical group, a union that would create a group of more than 150 physicians.

The Capital Area Permanente Medical Group has been considering its options since Kaiser Permanente sold its New York business to Capital District Physicians' Health Plan. The 75 salaried Permanente physicians have been interested in joining with Community Care Physicians of Troy, a 90-doctor, 35-office outfit that offers management and information technology the Kaiser physicians sought.

Across the country, MedPartners, the failed physician practice manager, has sold its remaining medical groups in California. KPC Global Care purchased four large groups, as well as several smaller MedPartners clinics. The divestitures left MedPartners, nationwide, with fewer than 20 practices, all of which are slated for disposal by year's end.

Physicians in the Raleigh, N.C., area, meanwhile, are getting a thank-you from Cigna HealthCare. On Oct. 1, Cigna boosted payment rates to its 10,000 area physicians an average of 8 percent. Cigna says it's a way to share the success of its cost-reduction activities, which added administrative burdens that have angered physicians.

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