A seven-physician cardiology practice in Stark County is joining Summa Health System.
Summa announced on Tuesday that Cardiology One is becoming part of Summa Physicians Inc. (SPI), the physician practice arm of the Akron-based health system.
The seven cardiologists will join SPI on June 1 but maintain their location on Fulton Drive in Jackson Township and satellite offices in Massillon, Dennison, Millersburg and Carrollton, according to Dr. Steven Hirsch, president of Cardiology One.
The Canton-area cardiology practice opted to join Summa Physicians Inc. (SPI) after talking with several potential partners, Hirsch said.
Summa’s strong reputation for quality and the health system’s willingness to allow the practice to continue without significant changes were among the deciding factors, he said.
“Cardiology One was, in the current climate of medicine, looking to partner with a larger organization so we could participate in some of the health-care changes that are occurring — some that already have occurred and ones that we anticipate in the future,” he said.
Under the three-year deal, the cardiologists will become employees of SPI.
Summa will lease Cardiology One’s Canton-area facility and operate the diagnostic area as a “hospital outpatient setting,” SPI President Dr. Gus Kious said.
As part of the agreement, Cardiology One also will join NewHealth Collaborative, an “accountable-care organization” formed by Summa and about 400 Northeast Ohio doctors to coordinate care and improve the health of the entire population of patients they serve.
Accountable-care organizations, or ACOs, are part of an industry trend that brings together doctors, hospitals and other providers to coordinate care for a population of patients and then share any savings achieved.
About 45,000 area patients — including 2,000 in Stark County — are included in the ACO, Kious said.
“Cardiology One and Summa are connected in a significant way to provide more comprehensive care,” he said.
According to a recent report from national health-care staffing firm Jackson Healthcare, nearly half of hospitals are actively acquiring physician practices.
Among those hospitals, more than half cite building a competitive advantage or maintaining an edge over competition as the main reasons for the acquisitions.
Nearly a third are seeking physician practices to build their ACOs.
Another large cardiology practice in Stark County, Cardiovascular Consultants, already is affiliated with Aultman Hospital in Canton. The group’s 18 doctors are employed by an affiliate of the hospital’s parent, Aultman Health Foundation.
Cardiology One’s doctors practice primarily at Mercy Medical Center in Canton and Affinity Medical Center in Massillon.
“I don’t see this alliance changing our participation in those hospitals to any significant extent,” Hirsch said. “We’re trying to provide quality care right here in Stark County.”
Cardiology One has about 8,300 active patients throughout the Canton area and roughly 50 employees, Hirsch said.
SPI has nearly 300 doctors, including 26 cardiologists, Kious said. The organization is in talks with another Akron-based cardiology practice, Northeast Ohio Cardiovascular Specialists, to continue a contract that expires this year.
“We’re fairly optimistic that that will end up with a deal in the next three months,” Kious said.
Cheryl Powell can be reached at 330-996-3902 or email@example.com. Follow Powell on Twitter at twitter.com/abjcherylpowell.