St. Thomas Health Launches Imaging Partnership

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imageSaint Thomas Health yesterday announced the formation of Saint Thomas Outpatient Imaging, a new joint venture between the five-hospital system and two of the area’s leading radiology groups, Premier Radiology and MidState Radiology. Once the transaction of $100 million is complete, Saint Thomas Outpatient Imaging will be the largest network of outpatient imaging centers in Middle Tennessee.

The newly formed imaging provider will begin offering services on April 1, giving patients access to more than 40 radiologists at eight locations in Nashville and the surrounding suburban communities of Cool Springs, Hermitage, Nolensville, Mt. Juliet, Smyrna, and Murfreesboro. Several additional sites are under development. Saint Thomas Outpatient Imaging will also serve as the outpatient radiology services provider for the hospital system’s standalone imaging centers and will be an integral part of an accountable care organization. Volume for the venture is projected to exceed 250,000 imaging procedures in its initial year of operation.

Wes Littrell, CEO of Saint Thomas Affiliates and chief strategy officer of Saint Thomas Health, deems the transaction consistent with the hospital system’s operating philosophy of collaboration and physician alignment. “Saint Thomas Health brings to the partnership a network of five hospitals and other affiliated providers throughout the region, as well as our own outpatient imaging centers,” he notes. “Partnering with Premier Radiology and MidState Radiology will result in greater access to lower cost imaging services and a superior experience for our patients and the physicians we serve.”

Premier Radiology, a 30-member radiology group, brings six imaging centers in the Nashville area to the new joint venture. Premier provides inpatient radiology services at area hospitals in Nashville, Williamson Medical Center in Franklin, University Medical Center in Lebanon, and Saint Thomas Health’s Hickman Community Hospital in Centerville. It also offers teleradiology services to more than 90 hospitals and other sites across the U.S.

“In Saint Thomas Health, we found a joint venture partner that is as dedicated as we are to building processes and infrastructure that lower health care costs for our community, and we believe this joint venture will change the face of imaging in the region,” states Chad Calendine, MD, president of Premier Radiology. “We’ve invested our time and resources in building a model of excellent service delivery that focuses on the needs of our patients and physicians.”

Max Moss, MD, medical director and radiologist with MidState Radiology, corroborates Calendine’s comments. MidState Radiology is an 11-member group of physicians that is currently a joint venture partner with Saint Thomas Health in the ownership of two outpatient imaging centers in Rutherford County; both facilities will become a part of the new venture. MidState Radiology is also the sole provider of radiology professional services at Middle Tennessee Medical Center, a hospital member of Saint Thomas Health. “MidState Radiology and our practices in Murfreesboro and Smyrna have proudly worked with Saint Thomas Health since 1971,” Moss asserts. “This partnership allows us to streamline our operations and extend our business beyond the communities we currently serve.”