Crain's Health Pulse
February 10, 2016
Northwell to Buy UPG
Northwell Health's medical group practice, Northwell Health Physician Partners, signed an agreement to purchase University Physicians Group as of Aug. 1. UPG was founded by Drs. Theodore Strange and Vincent Calamia, and originally was part of Staten Island University Hospital. It was spun off in 2002 as a separate corporation and now has nearly 50 doctors at 25 offices on Staten Island and in Brooklyn. Northwell Health said several UPG physicians will continue their clinical leadership roles at the Staten Island hospital. Northwell did not disclose the purchase price.
February 8, 2016
Northwell Acquires Staten Island's University Physicians Group
Northwell Health announced Monday that it has acquired University Physicians Group, the latest sign Staten Island is becoming one of the more competitive medical markets in the city.
UPG is Staten Island’s largest group of internal medicine physicians and will become part of Northwell Health, formerly North Shore-LIJ, on Aug. 1.The move comes amid a growing need to control the full continuum of a patient care as government and private insurers reward systems for better managing chronic diseases and penalize those where patients seek treatment for avoidable complications and conditions.
Executives want to keep patients under their umbrella so they know how, when and why a patient is seeking treatment.
Care management teams, and preventive measures, can then be put in place to keep a patient healthy, or at least from getting worse, thereby reducing overall costs. That benefits the systems that are engaged in value-based contracting, which is preferred by the Medicare and Medicaid programs and, increasingly, by private insurers. Northwell CEO Michael Dowling has been outspoken in his belief that hospitals are destined in the not too distant future to become places reserved for intensive care.
Any system that expects to survive must be “vertically and horizontally integrated,” he said at a recent Forbes health summit.
Dowling has 21 hospitals in his system. For his model to work, he needs a robust roster of outpatient physician practices and ambulatory locations, which helps explains the pace of expansion he has undertaken.
Northwell Health Physician Partners now has 2,500 members, the seventh largest group in the country, according to Northwell Health.
Other New York City health systems are eyeing Staten Island as well. Mount Sinai Health recently announced it was expanding its cardiac care on the island, and NYU Langone Medical Center’s partner, Ivy Urgent Care, recently opened a second office in the Eltingville section.
But no system has been expanding as rapidly as Northwell, which has been pushing east into Long Island, north into Westchester and west into Brooklyn and Staten Island.