by John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | January 07, 2019
Radiology Imaging Associates and South Texas Radiology Group have pooled their resources together to create two new companies dedicated to supporting independent and physician-led radiology practices.
By formally integrating with one another, the two are hoping to provide strategic and operational planning in the forms of Covalent Radiology, a professional services company, and Covalent Healthcare Management, a full-service management services organization, to assist in enhancing the workflow and quality of care offered at such facilities.
“Our goals in creating Covalent are to provide a vehicle for radiology practices that wish to remain independent and physician-led, to help practices maintain control of their revenue streams, and to improve how patient care is delivered at all of our sites of service nationally," Peter Ricci, the president of Covalent Radiology and a neuroradiologist based in Denver, said in a statement.
Practices across the U.S. are under greater pressure to leave private practice, a fact that RIA and STRG believe will further commoditize the specialty of radiology, and cause physician-led and patient-centric practices to be seen as the best options for adding value and improving the quality of care shown to patients.
The companies are owned by member physicians and governed by a member physician-only board of directors.
In addition, the two have appointed Bill Ziemke as chief executive officer. Ziemke, who holds radiology practice, manufacturing, legal, accounting and leadership experience, has spent more than 25 years as a C-suite executive and has worked in more than 25 countries.
"We’ve created a governance model to improve decision-making in private radiology practices and an operational model that provides a better return for our members and, ultimately, delivers the most cost-effective and efficient practice," said Ziemke. "The members will control the company and its future, using best-in-class practices for imaging quality measurement, Clinical Council-led standardization enterprise-wide, and enhanced data analytics and reporting."
Based in Denver, RIA provides diagnostic and interventional radiology services in the Mountain West, while San Antonio’s STRG is a private practice comprising radiologists offering subspecialized services across South Texas in all areas of radiology.