Scripps Acquires La Jolla Radiology

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Continuing a nationwide trend of health care mergers, the 27 physicians of La Jolla Radiology Medical Group in San Diego recently signed a deal to join Scripps Clinic Medical Group, comprised of more than 400 physicians in more than 50 subspecialties, according to its press release.

Since 2008, seven medical groups have joined Scripps, representing a growing shift among health systems employing more physicians. It’s a trend that usually results in hospitals losing money in the short term, but increases their referrals to specialists, writes Robert Kocher, MD, in the May 12 New England Journal of Medicine. Click here for article.

“More than half of all practicing physicians are employed by hospitals or integrated delivery systems,” says Kocher, who credits the trend largely to health systems gearing up for the creation of accountable care organizations (ACOs) under federal health reform.

One survey showed a nearly 75 percent increase since 2002 in the number of doctors employed by a hospital. Another survey last year showed 74 percent of hospital executives wanted to increase their employed physician ranks within a year and a half.

Robert Sarnoff, president of Scripps Clinic Medical Group says the partnership in San Diego with the radiology group means additional resources and a more comprehensive level of care, according to the press release.