Ascension Via Christi, a part of Ascension, the nation’s largest Catholic and nonprofit healthcare system, has announced plans to become the sole owner of Ascension Via Christi Imaging, a joint venture it has operated since 2000 with its physician partners at Kansas Imaging Consultants.
As part of this transition, radiologists from Ascension Medical Group, which had provided outpatient radiology services to clinic patients, will join Kansas Imaging Consultants, which already provides the majority of radiology services for patients at Via Christi’s Wichita hospitals.
“This integrated approach to providing radiology services is another step toward achieving our Vision 2020 goal of becoming a clinician-led, high-reliability organization that delivers safe, person-centered healthcare,” said Karl Ulrich, MD, Via Christi’s chief operating officer. “It enables us to consolidate our imaging footprint, while providing better-coordinated diagnostic evaluations for our patients.”
Two Ascension Medical Group radiologists, Dave Simms, MD, and Steve Taylor, MD, worked with Tim Benning, MD, of Kansas Imaging Consultants to lead and develop this integrated approach to delivering imaging services. Jack Shellito, MD, and Kim Shank, both senior leaders at Ascension Medical Group, also were involved in the process.
Under the agreement, KIC will become the exclusive provider of radiology physician services in Wichita for Via Christi.
“We have been considering how best to consolidate duplicative radiology services since our Vision 2020 strategic planning process in 2012,” said Ulrich. “Our new, integrated approach meets the Triple Aim of delivering higher-quality, lower-cost care that improves the health of the populations we serve.”
Having one integrated radiology practice also will help with the recruitment of radiology sub-specialists, avoid duplication of capital investment in expensive new technologies and is in alignment with Ascension’s national strategy of developing regional, clinically integrated systems of care.
The Ascension Medical Group radiologists are expected to join Kansas Imaging Consultants in March.