BIRMINGHAM, Ala.-MedPartners, a physician group practice management company, has acquired two group practices here for undisclosed amounts. MedPartners, which now owns five practices and provides management support services to 12 others in the Southeast, acquired the assets of Alabama Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center, which has 10 orthopedists, and the McCollough Plastic Surgery Clinic, which has five surgeons. Larry House, MedPartners president and chief executive officer, said the company plans more acquisitions as it develops a multispecialty healthcare system in Birmingham. MedPartners also is looking to acquire group practices and form networks in Richmond, Va.; Miami; Atlanta; and several Southeastern states, Mr. House said. The company will contract with insurers, HMOs and hospitals for a "full spectrum" of physician services, he said.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.-A federal appeals court in Atlanta has upheld Florida's cap on fees charged for some procedures at freestanding medical clinics. Two years ago, Florida approved a physician self-referral law that included provisions to limit fees charged by freestanding clinics to 115% of the rate set by Medicare. Because hospitals and group practices were exempt from the fee cap, a group of physicians that has financial stakes in diagnostic and other clinics in Florida appealed the law. A federal judge banned enforcement of the caps in 1992, but the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the law could stand. Services covered by the caps include laboratory, physical therapy, radiation therapy, X-rays and magnetic resonance imaging. The sponsor of the original bill, state Rep. Charlie Roberts, said he expected physicians affected by the decision to lobby for additional legislative changes this session.