similar move, the number of physician practices involved in mergers and acquisitions in 2011 has already beat the numbers from 2010. This only accounts for large and publicly announced deals so there probably are a lot more. Hospitals are the ones accounting for most of these purchases. Why? The new healthcare reform act. It seems to be forcing this awkward relationship so that docs and hospitals can "circle the wagons" which would allow them both to defend themselves against the savage regulations on the attack. But with wave after wave of useless bureaucratic bullsh%t, I would say that they don't have a chance.