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Merger Reflects What’s Ahead in Radiology Practice
By Jim Knaub

The announcement of Greensboro (North Carolina) Radiology’s merger with High Point Radiology last week is a good example of the trend of radiology groups growing in size. The resulting 52-doctor group—which will operate under the name Greensboro Radiology—has contracts to serve 12 hospitals and 45 imaging centers in North Carolina and Virginia, according to the company.

“We expect the merger to be good for our radiologists and good for our patients,” said David E. Ormond, MD, president of High Point Radiology, who will now serve on the executive board of the expanded group. “As part of a larger practice, our physicians will have more opportunities to specialize, and our patients in High Point and Lexington will benefit from ready access to a broader range of services.”

Here are some facts and figures about the practice, according to the press release announcing the merger.

• The merged organization will have 59 total employees and is expected to perform 850,000 imaging studies each year.

• It will provide services to 12 hospitals: Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital, The Women’s Hospital of Greensboro, Wesley Long Community Hospital, Select Specialty Hospital and Kindred Hospital; Annie Penn Hospital in Reidsville; Morehead Memorial Hospital in Eden; Chatham Hospital in Siler City; Randolph Hospital in Asheboro; Memorial Hospital of Martinsville and Henry County, Virginia; High Point Regional Health System; and Lexington Memorial Hospital. Kindred, High Point Regional, and Lexington Memorial were previously served by High Point Radiology.

• The merged organization will provide professional services to five outpatient Greensboro imaging locations as well as to Premier Imaging of High Point and Cone Health Medcenter at High Point. Greensboro Radiology also provides professional radiology services for more than 45 other outpatient facilities across the region.

What Ormond didn’t say in the release—but may prove just as important going forward—is that there is a measure of security in being part of a 52-radiologist group rather than High Point’s eight-doctor group. The potential for economies and efficiency of scale, additional capacity, and potential negotiating clout of a bigger group are things radiology groups should be focusing on in the current imaging market. The intensity of competition in imaging varies throughout the country, but it is only going to increase.

The expansion of different models of radiology practice is one of Radiology Today’s annual “5 Things to Watch” in the coming year, which is featured in our January issue. From growing regional groups such as Greensboro Radiology to the teleradiology companies positioning themselves as national radiology practices and medical management companies pursuing hospital contracts, how radiology care is delivered certainly is evolving.

Ask the dinosaurs whether evolving is better than the alternative.

— Jim Knaub is editor of Radiology Today.