Diablo Valley Oncology Merges With Pacific Urology

Posted on: November 11, 2011

Merger Announcement

Diablo Valley Oncology Merges With Pacific Urology

Economic trends in health care, new opportunities in continuity of care lead two practices to form Contra Costa’s first multi-specialty group of its kind Diablo Valley Oncology & Pacific Urology doctors Concord, CA (November 11, 2011) – Two of Contra Costa County’s largest private specialty medical practices announced today an agreement to merge in January, forming the area’s first multi-specialty practice in oncology and urology as a hedge against mounting business challenges in a rapidly changing health care landscape. Pacific Urology, a six-physician practice with origins dating back to the 1980s, is joining forces with Diablo Valley Oncology and Hematology Medical Group, a seven-doctor group specializing in treating cancer and blood disorders. The groups gave two principal reasons for the merger: new opportunities to deliver a stronger continuity of care for patients, plus increasing economic pressures in health care, such as an anticipated 30-percent decrease in Medicare payments to specialists to begin in 2012. “For just about all doctors, the costs of practicing medicine are escalating – it’s that simple,” said Dr. Stephen Taylor of Pacific Urology. “In anticipation of Medicare cuts, over the last 18 months we have explored several different options for restructuring our business and have concluded that combining our practices secures the future for both organizations and consequently for the quality of care of our patients.” The practices invested months in methodically evaluating an organizational structure that would best meet patients’ needs through collaborative treatment of cancers of the prostate, kidney and bladder, Taylor said. Both practices will retain their individual names but will now share infrastructure and resources such as information technology systems, business office processes and clinic locations. “This has been a complex business decision driven by many factors including health care reform,” said Dr. Matthew Sirott, founder, president and CEO of Diablo Valley Oncology and Hematology. “In the end, it’s win-win for us and patients. Now we’ll jointly be able to see more patients in more locations, reduce our overhead expenses, and collaborate more closely than ever.” As an example of improved care for patients, Sirott said, under the merger, physicians from the two specialties will hold regularly scheduled case reviews in order to confer on more difficult cases. Such multi-specialty conferences are not uncommon in university and hospital settings but can be impractical for private, stand-alone practices, where doctors from different specialties rarely appear in the same physical locations. The advent of health care reform has increased pressure to control costs to unprecedented levels, said Dr. Judson Brandeis of Pacific Urology, forcing medical practices to innovate in order to survive. “Quite frankly, it came down to a choice of controlling costs or cutting corners on care. For us, that’s no choice at all. We opted for cost controls.” The merger is an extension of other efforts made by Pacific Urology recently to improve patient care and services, Taylor said. For example, in the theme of innovation to keep pace with the times, the practice is investing in a new electronic medical records system, an Internet portal for patients to access financial and medical records, and an in-house pathology lab that will enable better quality control and faster turnaround times for clinical tests. The merger will not affect the ability and enthusiasm for physicians from both practices to continue close collaboration with other specialists and practices in the East San Francisco Bay Area, Sirott said. “We plan to work with all partners in the medical community just as we always have. The realities of health care are that none of us has the luxury of forming exclusive professional relationships.”

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About Pacific Urology

With clinics in Concord, Walnut Creek, Antioch, Brentwood, San Ramon, and Livermore, Pacific Urology is one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s largest urology practices. The group’s mission is to provide university quality of care in a private practice setting, right in the patients’ community. Pacific Urology offers a combined expertise of nearly a century of collective experience in urologic health. www.PacificUrology.com

About Diablo Valley Oncology

Diablo Valley Oncology and Hematology Medical Group is home to the largest single site for cancer treatment in Contra Costa County. Its seven physicians bring together medical oncology; hematology; chemotherapy; radiation therapy; CT/MRI/PET-CT scans and imaging; clinical trials; research; and supportive care all in one convenient location. dvohmg.com