Two new companies are banking on demand for convenient, integrated pediatric care.
A consortium of 36 children's hospitals is among the investors in Atlanta-based Pediatric Physician Alliance. The company will manage pediatric practices and develop networks of pediatricians, subspecialists and children's hospitals.
Child Health Corporation of America contributed $250,000 to the approximately $4 million raised, said Don Black, its president and chief executive officer, who sits on the board of the new company.
Black said some hospitals will continue to own and manage practices, but others want to form joint ventures with a physician practice management company.
Company President and Director Terrence Bauer said physicians will own a majority of the stock as an incentive, even after the initial public offering.
"Children's hospitals have wanted to participate in this because they know their physicians would like an equity model (management company)," he said. "Many hospitals are also losing money (on practices)."
The company announced letters of intent to affiliate with 27 physicians in Colorado, Ohio and Orlando, Fla.
The second new company is Nashville-based PediaNet, which will develop after-hours pediatric clinics. Its draw is convenient locations and brightly colored, oversized waiting rooms that accommodate both sick and well children with movies, computers and interactive displays.
The company, founded by Nashville pediatrician John T. Netterville Jr., said it wants to serve as a resource for pediatricians during off hours. It promises to transmit same-day medical information and referrals to the child's regular pediatrician.
Metropolitan Nashville will be the prototype, with three clinics scheduled to open there within the year.
PediaNet has the financial and intellectual backing of R. Clayton McWhorter, board member and former chairman of Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. and former top executive of Healthtrust.
McWhorter's firm, Nashville-based Clayton Associates, contributed an undisclosed amount of start-up capital, said Chief Financial Officer Deborah M. Clarke. She said a public offering is planned, and the company also intends to raise capital through a private placement offering to pediatricians and outside investors.
John B. Crysel left his job as CEO of Columbia's North Side Hospital in Johnson City, Tenn., to be PediaNet's chief operating officer.