So You Want to Pursue Radiology Group Integration

There’s no question that radiology group integration of one form or another is a growing trend nationwide. Sparked by the consolidation occurring among hospitals and health systems, radiology practice integration is a way to maintain independence, autonomy and entrepreneurial spirit while gaining new efficiencies and economies of scale. If you’re a group considering integration, where do you start?

That question was addressed during the RBMA’s first-ever live-streamed session. Doug Smith, managing partner with Integrated Medical Partners, hosted a panel of physician executives from a newly formed radiology practice affiliation. When asked how to navigate the variety of options facing practices today, Ted Koerner, DO, CEO of Triad, advised attendees to “start small.”

“We wanted to bring consistency to procedures and protocols throughout our health system, and as radiology groups, we have a tendency not to talk to one another very well, if at all,” he said. “So you have to start small, with something very informal.”

Bob Barr, MD, president of Mecklenburg Radiology Associates, suggested that these initial informal conversations between radiology groups begin with a discussion of health systems’ changing needs. “You have to think about coordinating around a strategic plan—who’s your customer, and what do you recognize in them?” he said. “The focus on quality mandates that hospital systems need our input to drive their service lines. They may have different ways of saying they need us, but they do need us, and that’s important.”

Smith added that leadership is critical in the early phases of unifying multiple groups. “We need to make ourselves a single voice within the hospital,” he summarized. “Strong leadership is required to allow that to happen even though there will be some factional issues.”

Barr concluded, “You have a window of opportunity in one of the most tumultuous markets you can imagine. This is the time to craft something that makes you more relevant.”

Originally posted here