Physician groups announce merger

DOWNEY - AppleCare Medical Group and Alliance Physicians Medical Group have merged into a single health care system, officials from the health groups announced last week.Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Patients should not notice any changes in their care or appointments, officials said. The new company will operate as AppleCare Medical Group. "This is a win-win for all parties, especially our patients," said Vinod Jivrajka, MD, president of AppleCare. "By combining the resources of both physician groups, we will be positioned as the leading medical care organization in the community." Physicians from both groups have served the Downey and Whittier area for several years. All area hospital affiliations of the two physician groups, including Downey Regional Medical Center, St. Francis Medical Center, Lakewood Regional Medical Center and others will remain unchanged. Officials said the merger was spurred in part by federal health care reform that went into effect this year. "Ensuring the best medical care for Downey area residents as health reform legislation becomes more mature in our area was our goal with the merger," said Dr. Gil Bender, chairman of the Board of Alliance Physicians Medical Group, based in Downey. "Integrated and accounted care organizations are the cornerstone of the future model of care, whereby physicians, hospitals and health plans work in concert to improve access and efficiencies. In reality, we are there now." Ken Strople, chief executive officer of Downey Regional Medical Center, said he "welcomed the new alignment as supporting many fine physicians in the community and believe that this new direction will only improve access to great care in our community." Officials from both groups reiterated there will be no disruption in medical care for patients. "We designed this merger so that it is seamless in nature and will not disrupt the exceptional and compassionate care our physicians provide to their patients," Vinod said. Patients with questions regarding the merger can call (800) 460-5051 to speak to an AppleCare representative.

********** Published: October 21, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 27