In one of the first concrete steps to remake the way medical care is delivered, hospitals are competing to hire primary-care physicians, trying to lure them from their private practices to work as salaried employees alongside specialists.
The push is forcing doctors to make decisions about how to deliver care to patients, many of whom have relied on long-standing relationships with trusted independent neighborhood physicians and wonder what lies ahead.
It also spotlights benefits and drawbacks for patients and doctors alike in one of the health-care overhaul’s much-touted initiatives, set to begin next year. The law will reward teams of doctors, nurses and others if they coordinate to provide better care at lower costs. As front-line doctors, primary-care physicians are key to this effort.