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BusINess » Business Health Care » Franciscan Alliance deal to buy Hammond Clinic in works

Franciscan Alliance deal to buy Hammond Clinic in works

The Franciscan Alliance has proposed to the Hammond Clinic to create a marriage of their health services through a sale of the Hammond Clinic to the Franciscan Alliance.

“Following a due diligence period of both parties to ascertain the value of the practice and equipment, we’ll settle on a price and move forward to bring the Hammond Clinic under the umbrella of the Franciscan Alliance,” said Gene Diamond, regional CEO of the Franciscan Alliance for northern Indiana.

Diamond said the Franciscan Alliance has approached the Hammond Clinic multiple times, and now is in the late stages of the purchase.

“I’m a fairly persistent suitor, and this announcement is that the courtship is ending and the marriage is beginning,” he said.

According to a news release, an agreement between the two providers was signed Wednesday, merging the 60-plus physicians of the Hammond Clinic with the employed physicians of the four Franciscan Alliance hospitals in Northwest Indiana. The two groups will spend about the next month in a due diligence period, Diamond said.

Kevin Leahy, the president and CEO of Franciscan Alliance, said the Franciscan Alliance and Franciscan St. Margaret Health in Hammond and Dyer have worked with the Hammond Clinic for decades, especially at Franciscan Physicians Hospital in Munster.

“Together we will strive to continuously improve patient care, lower costs and combine the latest technology available,” he said in the release.

Dr. Cynthia Sanders, medical director and managing member of the Hammond Clinic, said in the release the partnership will take advantage of the expertise in both organizations.

The Hammond Clinic has locations in Munster and St. John.

“It will be a very beneficial relationship for both entities,” said Beverly DeLao, the administrator of the Hammond Clinic.

Diamond said it is likely the Hammond Clinic facilities will keep their name.

“Franciscan Physicians Hospital, along with St. Margaret Health, will benefit from the synergies generated by our enhanced relationship with the Hammond Clinic,” Diamond said. “We already have a strong partnership at FPH. This is a logical next step, given the integration necessary to improve quality, control rising costs and meet the challenges of health care reform.”

Diamond said he regularly speaks with other health care organizations about entering into relationships, but did not offer specifics. Still, he said it is likely the Franciscan Alliance will align itself with others in the future to realize its long-term vision of becoming an accountable-care organization.

The Center for American Progress defines an accountable-care organization as “a group of medical care providers who accept responsibility for providing or arranging all care for a group of patients under a payment arrangement that allows them to profit from reducing costs and improving quality.”

“I’m very excited about this,” said Diamond. “There’s a number of things we can learn from each other.”

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