Planning to merge a urology practice? Tips for a smooth transition

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As has happened throughout the field of medicine over the past decade, a growing number of urologists are merging to create larger, more expansive urology practices. Here's how one newly merged practice stayed on track during the merger process.

As has happened throughout the field of medicine over the past decade, a growing number of urologists are merging to create larger, more expansive urology practices. According to the Large Urology Group Association, more than 100 urology groups have members numbering from five to more than 60 urologists. In the 2011 Urology Times State of the Specialty survey, 9% of respondents indicated that they belonged to a group of 20 or more physicians.

Have a shared practice philosophy. "We've known these doctors for years," he said. "Every doctor in each group was always committed to quality and to putting the patient first. Otherwise, the 'marriage' wouldn't work."

Merge for the right reasons. "Bigger isn't always better just because it's bigger," Dr. DeGuenther said.

Merge for the long-term health of the practice. "In the short term, mergers cost money; we merged to improve the health of our practice 10 years down the road," he explained.

The "right reasons" may differ for each practice. For Urology Centers of Alabama, the groups identified two primary benefits:

Sorrells, practice administrator for 24 years, explains the merger will make good use of that expertise. "Our primary goal is to get patients to the physician who is the most capable of doing their particular surgery or treating their particular disease," Sorrells said.

Not every aspect of the merger went smoothly, of course.

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