Franciscan Alliance acquires Medical Specialists

2012-10-03T15:15:00Z 2012-10-04T10:15:54Z Franciscan Alliance acquires Medical SpecialistsBy Vanessa Renderman vanessa.renderman@nwi.com, (219) 933-3244 nwitimes.com

MUNSTER | In a transaction valued between $15 million and $25 million, the physicians group Medical Specialists has joined Franciscan Alliance, the largest hospital system in Northwest Indiana.

“Franciscan Alliance is pleased to partner with Medical Specialists, a well-established and respected group of specialty physicians who will help us better serve the health care needs of thousands of Northwest Indiana residents,“ said Kevin Leahy, president and CEO of Franciscan Alliance, in a statement.

Dr. Alexander Stemer said he will remain president of what will now be called Franciscan Medical Specialists. The group's employees will remain, and they will maintain all of their benefits, Stemer said.

Aside from the new name, patients will not notice much change. The offices will maintain the same services.

"There will be no apparent difference from the standpoint of the patient," Stemer said.

Gene Diamond, CEO of Franciscan Alliance’s Northern Indiana Region, said the physicians group is a good match for Franciscan.

“We've been chatting with these folks for years,” he said. “The reason we have persisted is because Alex (Stemer) himself and, obviously, the group he has led have established a pretty obvious excellent reputation for high quality. Given Alex's abilities and his vision, it was pretty clear to us that this would be a good match.”

Stemer said Franciscan Medical Specialists will serve as a specialty arm in the northern region, recruiting and placing university-qualified physicians where they are most in need.

“The land beneath our feet in health care is shifting,” he said. “We'll be looking for physicians looking to join larger organizations.”

Aside from his role as president, Stemer will work in strategic planning in the northern region.

Diamond said Stemer already is beginning to work with Franciscan on its accountable care organization in the northern region.

Medical Specialists was established in 1978 and has 12 locations in Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties. Its team consists of 55 physicians and surgeons, 11 nurse practitioners and two physician assistants. Franciscan Medical Specialist locations include Munster, Dyer, Hammond, Hobart, LaPorte, Merrillville, Michigan City, Schererville and Valparaiso.

Franciscan Medical Specialists will honor the Franciscan mission statement, values and the ethical and religious directives for Catholic health care facilities, Diamond said.

A private practice exception allows doctors to prescribe contraceptives if they are prescribing them on their own time, not being paid by Franciscan and not on Franciscan prescription pads, Diamond said.

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