August 2, 2011 in City

Providence acquires Spokane Cardiology

Practice moves to Sacred Heart
By The Spokesman-Review
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Clinics bought up

With Monday’s announcement that Providence Health Care purchased Spokane Cardiology, three of Spokane’s four independent cardiology clinics are now owned by hospital groups. Inland Cardiology and The Rockwood Clinic have been purchased by Community Health Systems Inc., which also owns Deaconess Medical Center and Valley Hospital and Medical Center.

Providence Health Care has purchased Spokane Cardiology as part of its plan to develop a new heart institute serving the region.

Federal antitrust regulators foiled a more ambitious deal earlier this year when they expressed concern about Providence’s plans to buy both Spokane Cardiology and Heart Clinics Northwest.

Providence abandoned those efforts and narrowed its focus and Monday announced the acquisition, which includes bringing the cardiology practice’s staff of 118 – including 15 cardiologists – onto the Providence payroll.

A sale agreement was signed last week and Spokane Cardiology moved its offices over the weekend to the Sacred Heart Medical Center campus, said Mike Wilson, interim chief executive officer of Providence. He declined to disclose financial terms.

Spokane Cardiology had been located in the Deaconess Health and Education Center.

The acquisition has been anticipated for many months.

Wilson said Providence will continue to work closely with Heart Clinics Northwest, even though the practice will remain independent.

“While there are some restrictions, we see many opportunities to work together and we look forward to the leadership and expertise of both,” he said.

Cardiologists across the country are selling their practices to hospitals to cope with reimbursement reductions that have hit heart care providers especially hard.

Hospitals also have struggled with cardiology reimbursements from the federal government’s Medicare and Medicaid programs. Even so, those reductions haven’t been as severe as the reductions facing private cardiology groups.

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