WakeMed and Rex Healthcare announced new affiliations with medical groups today.
The Carolina Cardiovascular Surgical Associates is joining WakeMed's Wake Speciality Physicians Network while the Clinton Medical Clinic is joining the Triangle Physician Network, a joint network operated by Rex Healthcare and the UNC Health Care System.
CCSA includes four doctors and is led by W. Charles Helton.
Last month two CCSA surgeons, Lance Landvater and Robert Peyton, left the association to start a new practice affiliated with Rex Healthcare called Rex Cardiothoracic Surgery Specialists.
UNC Health Care's expansion into heart services are central to the ongoing dispute between WakeMed and UNC Health over the future of Rex.
(WakeMed's $750 million bid to buy Rex was rejected earlier this year by UNC Health's board.)
WakeMed officials are worried that UNC Health's efforts to capture more of the market for heart services will hurt its core business.
The Clinton Medical Clinic has a staff of more than 65 that serves eastern North Carolina communities in Sampson and other surrounding counties.
Today's announcements are also part of a trend of medical practices aligning themselves with large health care systems.
The practices get better prices for their services and hospitals get the referrals that the doctors provide.
Health systems are also preparing for life under the health care reform bill. Eventually, Medicare and others will just pay a flat amount for all treatment related to a condition.
The health system will be responsible for dividing up the money.