Mercy buys private practice and laboratory

Purchases follow trend in health care

Mercy Regional Medical Center has acquired Southwest Cardiology Associates, a private practice, and Four Corners Regional Heart Institute, a cardiac catheterization laboratory.

The acquisitions were effective Friday. Both entities are in Mercy Medical Plaza, the medical office building attached to the hospital in Grandview.

The acquisitions were a cash deal, Mercy CEO Kirk Dignum said. He declined to give the prices.

Dignum said the acquisitions came about because Denver Aurora Cardiology, a private practice, could no longer act as back-up for the Durango practice.

The Front Range practitioners for several years were stepping in several times a month to help their colleagues in Durango, Dignum said.

“But with national health care on the horizon, many physicians are affiliating with hospitals,” Dignum said. “The Denver Aurora cardiologists said they could no longer work in rural counties.”

The new name of the Durango cardiology practice, formerly Four Corners Heart Clinic, is Mercy Cardiology Associates.

As part of the transaction, the practice’s four cardiologists, Michael Demos, Stephen Lipnik, Eugenia Miller and Catherine Winchester, became Mercy employees, along with 10 staff members.

Fourteen staff members at the catheterization lab also became Mercy employees.

In a statement, Dignum said:

“We are very pleased to welcome these four talented heart specialists and the clinic and catheterization lab staffs to the Mercy team and to continue service to the Four Corners region under the Mercy banner.”

daler@durangoherald.com

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