Three independent radiology practices just merged with the goal of better serving their shared client, Trinity Health, representing an interesting example of how private rad groups can adapt to hospital and practice consolidation.
Becoming AIA – Michigan’s Huron Valley Radiology (54 radiologists), Indiana’s X-Ray Consultants (11 rads), and Connecticut’s Naugatuck Valley Radiological Associates (11 rads) will now become Advanced Imaging Alliance (AIA). Although technically a corporation, AIA is wholly owned by the groups’ physician shareholders, and will continue to operate as three separate divisions.
Trinity’s Consolidation – Trinity Health itself was created by the 2000 merger of the Holy Cross Health System (Indiana) and Mercy Health Services (Michigan), before acquiring St. Mary’s Hospital (Connecticut) in 2015 and eventually expanding to 89 hospitals in 25 states. Trinity’s expansion is what motivated the three groups to merge, allowing them to provide “a single level” of service for their shared client.
Consolidation Options – Mergers like this could represent a viable option for rad groups looking to remain independent and competitive, allowing them to better support multi-state hospital clients, while giving them workforce advantages (more subspecialists, shared overnight coverage) and better administrative / IT scale.
It appears that the trends towards multi-state hospital systems and expanding PE-backed radiology groups are here to stay, creating challenges for private radiology practices that have thrived on local relationships. That doesn’t mean that we’ll see a major trend towards three-practice mergers, but these mergers might make sense for some practices in similar situations.