Pontiac, Mich.-based DeGarA, an emergency physician group serving 10 hospitals and freestanding emergency rooms in Michigan, has merged into American Physician Partners, a Brentwood, Tenn., ER group that now serves 40 hospitals and ERs in eight states.
APP will provide back-office services to DeGarA, including clinical staffing, training, leadership development, administrative services and other operational assistance.
DeGarA will keep its name with Tressa Gardner, D.O., remaining as its president.
"We chose to merge with APP because their business philosophy is identical to ours," Gardner said in a statement. "When you take good care of patients, physicians and our hospital partners everything else falls into place."
DeGarA serves Garden City Hospital, McLaren Clarkston Village and its freestanding ER, McLaren Oakland Pontiac, two other McLaren hospitals in Lansing and Lapeer, three St. Mary's health facilities, St. Joseph Health System in Tawas and Huron Medical Center in Bad Axe.
American Physician Partners CEO John Rutledge said the addition of DeGarA adds a high-quality ER group to APP, which was formed in 2015 and had 30 contracts before DeGaraA joined it. The combined company now has a combined ER visit volume of 1 million patients. APP expects to add another four contracts in Illinois and two in Arkansas in November.
"The emergency department is the front door to the hospital. A positive ED experience increases the likelihood of patients returning to that hospital for other services offered," Rutledge said in a statement. "Through Dr. Gardner's leadership, DeGarA has grown to include affiliation with several residency programs, multiple and varied locations, and a high quality reputation in Michigan, making her practice well suited to understand the needs of patients and physicians alike, insuring quality outcomes."
Cascade Partners, a Southfield, Mich.-based consulting firm, was the financial adviser to the transaction.