Continuing its breakneck pace of buying physician group practices, Caremark International last week agreed to purchase Diagnostic Clinic, a 93-member physician group based in Largo, Fla.
The terms of the deal were not released.
Diagnostic Clinic is one of the largest multispecialty physician groups in Florida, operating in six locations in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area. The clinic had 1994 revenues of $49 million.
The deal marks the fourth physician group practice Caremark has purchased within the past nine months and its sixth overall.
Prior acquisitions included North Physician groups
Suburban Clinic, Skokie, Ill.; Atlanta Medical Associates; Friendly Hills HealthCare Network, La Habra, Calif; Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, Houston; and Oklahoma City Clinic.
Overall, Caremark's physician group network now totals more than 700 physicians, 300,000 HMO enrollees and $480 million in annual revenues.
Under the agreement, Caremark will provide administration of patient services; management of facilities, information and finances; and other business functions.
"We see large physician group practices as the future of healthcare, and we are playing an important role in providing them with the capital and information and business systems they need in the evolving healthcare environment," said C.A. Lance Piccolo, Caremark's chairman and chief executive officer.
Once the dominant provider of home infusion and alternate-site therapies, Caremark recently sold its home infusion and Clozaril patient management businesses. The two sales totaled $344 million in cash and securities.
The federal government is conducting a criminal investigation of the company's home infusion and growth-hormone businesses to determine whether Caremark violated federal laws by offering illegal kickbacks to physicians in return for patient referrals.
Last August, a federal grand jury in Minneapolis indicted Caremark, along with four individuals, for allegedly paying a Minneapolis physician $1.1 million in illegal kickbacks.
Although it has not been charged, Caremark also has been linked to federal investigations in Ohio, Detroit and Atlanta. The company denies any wrongdoing.
Northbrook, Ill.-based Caremark provides physician practice manage-ment, pharmaceutical services and disease management.
The company last week reported that net income for the first quarter ended March 31 leaped nearly 400% to $21.4 million, or 29 cents per share, from $4.3 million, or 6 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Revenues increased 42% to $566 million.