T.J. Thompson, president of Atlantic Respiratory Services in Charleston, S.C., worries the independents will be weeded out by national competitive bidding.
"The only way to compete is to convince referrals that I'm going to give their patients the best service," she said. "The physicians in our area don't want to send their patients to the nationals. Once competitive bidding goes through, patient care goes out the window. There's no incentive to compete at that level."