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Blake to acquire Pinnacle Medical Group

BRADENTON -- Blake Medical Center makes it official today: It is acquiring Bradenton-based Pinnacle Medical Group.

The merger will become effective March 1, and will add about 150 physicians and medical care professionals from Pinnacle Medical Group to Blake Medical Center. All Pinnacle clinics will remain open.

“We’re pleased to welcome Pinnacle Medical Group to the Blake family as we create a network of care for our community,” said Daniel Friedrich, chief executive officer of Blake Medical Center.

Financial terms of the details were not disclosed.

Health care reform led in part to the merger, Friedrich said, because the new law will overhaul the way claims are paid out to health care providers.

“It wasn’t the only consideration, but it was a factor,” Friedrich said. “Health care reform is still pretty ambiguous at this point, but we do believe that it will require health care providers to work closely together and form partnerships in order to deliver coordinated care to the community we serve.”

Currently, claims are paid individually to each health care provider involved in a patient’s care. Health care reform will lead to bundled payments.

Jonathan Fleece, a board-certified health care attorney at Blalock Walters, expects health care reform will lead to more mergers among hospitals and health care providers.

“It allows hospitals and physicians not only to better share payments, but they’re better able to focus on quality care,” Fleece said. “Because if they’re part of an integrated system, they’re part of a team to help improve quality of care as well.”

Pinnacle Medical Group, founded in 1998, has five locations in Manatee and provides care in family medicine, urgent care, cardiology, neurosurgery and orthopedic surgery. All the locations will remain.

Blake and Pinnacle physicians had working relationships in the past, but never an official connection prior to this deal, officials said.

“This partnership supports our mission to pro- vide the best in comprehensive, quality medical care by allowing us to enhance the quality and seamlessness of care for our community,” said Dr. Kevin Boyer, president and chairman of Pinnacle Medical Group.

Blake’s acquisition of Pinnacle comes nearly two years after Blake acquired HealthCare America Medical Group.

Blake Medical Center, an HCA facility, also is planning to develop a Level II Trauma Center, which is projected to open next fall.

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