For business purposes, many primary care physicians have formed medical groups and Independent Practice Associations (IPAs).
Medical groups are organizations of physicians, generally located in the same facility, who provide a range of services to health plan members. This includes the mental health services administrator for all mental health services. Independent Practice Associations (IPAs) are groups of physicians and specialists with individual offices who have formed organizations to contract, manage and share financial responsibilities for providing services to health plan members. This includes the mental health services administrator for all Mental Health services.
Most physicians refer specialists within their medical groups or IPAs. If you are choosing a new primary care physician, find out:
How many specialists are available within that physician's medical group or IPA. This may affect your choice.
Whether there are special "admitting arrangements" with hospitals in their area. This may affect your choice, too.