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St. Francis acquires orthopedic surgery practice

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In the latest example of doctors and hospitals merging, St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers has acquired a six-doctor orthopedic surgery practice that operates in St. Francis’ Mooresville hospital.

Joint Replacement Surgeons of Indiana fully integrated with St. Francis on Monday, the hospital system announced. The physician group will now be called St. Francis Medical Group-Joint Replacement Surgeons.

The doctors will continue to work out of their offices on the St. Francis-Mooresville campus and on the St. Vincent Indianapolis Hospital campus on West 86th Street.
 
“This integration is a natural extension of our long relationship with St. Francis as partners in the Center for Hip & Knee Surgery at St. Francis Hospital–Mooresville,” said Dr. John B. Meding, one of the doctors at Joint Replacement Surgeons, in a prepared statement.
 
The Center for Hip & Knee Surgery was founded in 1986 by Dr. Merrill A. Ritter at what was then Kendrick Memorial Hospital in Mooresville. St. Francis acquired the Kendrick hospital in 2000. The center performs nearly 2,000 joint replacements each year.

St. Francis, whose parent organization is based in Mishawaka in northern Indiana, operates three hospitals in the Indianapolis area. Last summer, it acquired a 23-doctor cardiology practice that performed most of its procedures at St. Francis Indianapolis campus.

St. Vincent Health has agreed in principle to acquire The Care Group, the largest cardiology practice based in Indianapolis. St. Vincent also agreed late last year to a deal with OrthoIndy, the city’s largest orthopedic surgery practice, to hold a minority stake in OrthoIndy’s hospital at Interstate 465 and West 86th Street.

Other hospital systems have been actively trying to bring physicians closer into their folds.

Community Health Network has either hired or signed integration contracts with more than 250 physicians in a variety of specialties. Those deals have shifted physician reimbursement from being based entirely on volume of procedures to new factors, such as how well physicians communicate with other doctors and how satisfied patients are with their care.

Clarian Health Network has launched two initiatives to bring on more physicians. It launched a joint venture with the Indiana University School of Medicine, the Indiana Clinic, which hopes to employ more than 1,500 physicians by 2011.

Clarian also started a program called Clarian Quality Partners, which aims to sign up physicians to new contracts that base compensation on quality of care and communication with other doctors, in addition to activity levels.

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