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Saturday, Jun 3, 2023

Lakeside Seeks Dominance With Merger

One of the largest independent physician associations in the Valley area is expanding its footprint. Glendale-based Lakeside Medical Group Inc. is awaiting state and shareholder approval to merge with Community Medical Group of the West Valley Inc., an Agoura Hills-based physician organization with a 2006 enrollment of 82,050. The deal, along with the November acquisition of a West Covina medical group, extends Lakeside’s coverage area from eastern Ventura County to the San Gabriel Valley. Dr. Keith S. Richman, executive vice president of corporate development at Lakeside, said that market dominance was one of the major selling points for the merger with Community “This acquisition was done recognizing that they are contiguous areas,” he said. Community Medical Group has about 140 employees in 15 locations, mostly in eastern Ventura County and the western San Fernando Valley, said company CEO Dr. Marvin Kanter. He said the 27-year-old company was in talks with Lakeside for years about a merger. The timing this year seemed right. “It finally came to the point where we thought going forward with a different type of organization was needed,” he said. “We wanted to be a full health care company and to do it as individuals would be much more difficult. We realized putting it together was the greater good.” The transaction, Lakeside’s largest to date, doubles the company’s non-provider employees to 600. Lakeside now operates at 10 sites, five urgent care centers and at numerous hospitals, Richman said. Richman said the company plans to remain at its Grand Central Business Park headquarters which expanded earlier this month and now houses about 140 workers. The office processes 50,000 claims a month, 40 percent electronically. With operations now centrally located, Kanter said the merger should cause minimal difficulties for doctors and patients. “The only changes they should see are in efficiencies,” he said. Richman agreed that the organizations would benefit from one another. “This brings efficiencies of scale,” he said. The company has not ruled out additional expansions, if it makes sense, Richman said. “We’re not in the business of completing mergers and acquisitions for the sake of mergers and acquisitions,” he said. “What we’re trying to do is position ourselves as the best health care providers in the areas we serve.” Kaiser Panorama City Nearing Completion Crews are entering the final construction phase of a new, $267 million acute-care hospital at Kaiser Permanente Panorama City Medical Center. The 400,000-square-foot project just south of the existing 1960s-era facility at Roscoe Boulevard and Woodman Avenue is slated to come online within six months, said hospital spokeswoman Virginia Baca. “We’re still wrapping construction,” she said. “We’re looking at late summer or early fall.” The new facility, which will be connected to the old hospital at its basement, includes 218 beds, a labor and delivery center, neonatal intensive care, acute- and critical-care nursing and inpatient and outpatient surgery. The expansion, originally budgeted for around $130 million, was prompted by increased demand and seismic concerns. Crews broke ground in fall 2003. Anshen + Allen is the architect. Panorama City is the second largest hospital project in the Valley area to finish construction this year; work is slated to finish this month on the new patient care tower at Glendale Adventist Medical Center. Kaiser is also expanding its De Soto Avenue campus in Woodland Hills by building out a portion of an unused tower. Staff Reporter Chris Coates can be reached at (818) 316-3124 or ccoates@sfvbj.com .

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