Progress in reducing the number of deaths related to cardiovascular disease has been waning in recent years, heightening concerns that the obesity epidemic in the United States is undoing improvements in heart health. A research letter published Tuesday in Journal of the American Medical Association confirms that although the death rates from heart disease, diabetes, stroke and related disorders have been decreasing for decades, the rates have recently slowed or stalled. “At best, progress has slowed to a halt, and, at worst, our rates of cardiovascular disease are going up,” said Steven Nissen, chief academic officer for the Heart and Vascular Institute at Cleveland Clinic. “And the cause, pretty much everybody agrees, is the obesity epidemic and all of its downstream consequences.”
Orlando Health Heart Institute continues its expansion, this time by acquiring Cardiology Consultants of Orlando, an independent practice in Central Florida. The acquisition, which went into effect on Aug. 1, brings up the institute’s number of physicians to 56 and a total of 22 locations. “By bringing together the practices, we build on our expertise and experience,” said Cindy Reed, assistant vice president, Orlando Health Heart Institute, in a news release. “For patients this means greater access to services, treatments, and specialized programs and centers.”
The Bayhealth Medical Group now has a new cardiology practice among its provider group. Delaware Heart & Vascular, PA, which is now known as Bayhealth Heart & Vascular, has recently joined them. The practice includes physicians Vincent D. Abbrescia, DO, FACC; Judith A. Rippert, DO, FACC; and Sanjeev B. Patel, MD, MRCP, FACC. The Bayhealth Medical Group operates practices throughout central and southern Delaware. Their network is comprised of more than 60 healthcare providers, including highly trained physicians and clinical staff, as well as an administrative support team.
Highlander Partners L.P., a leading middle market private investment firm based in Dallas, Texas, announced Tuesday the acquisition of the majority stake in the Ares Group (“Ares”). Founded in 2013 and headquartered in Bucharest, Ares is the leading private provider of interventional cardiology procedures in Romania, with 5 facilities today. Its medical team is composed of highly reputable interventional cardiologists and key opinion leaders from Romania and throughout Europe. Ben Slater, Director of Highlander Partners and Head of Highlander’s Romanian efforts, added, “We have spent two years assessing a variety of opportunities in Romania and are extremely pleased to announce our first investment in the country. Ares possesses all the qualities that we have been seeking. It is a market leading business led by an exceptional management team, participating in a space – private pay healthcare – that will become increasingly demanded as the Romanian economy continues to develop.”
A physician practice that was affiliated with a now-shuttered hospital has joined Louisville-based Baptist Healthcare System Inc.’s systemwide physician practice. Kentuckiana Heart Specialists, which is led by five physicians, is now part of Baptist Health Medical Group, one of the largest physician groups in the state. Kentuckiana Heart Specialists will now be called Baptist Health Medical Group Kentuckiana Heart Specialists. The group previously was affiliated with the 46-bed Kentuckiana Medical Center in Clarksville, Ind. In February, the hospital’s ownership group announced that it was filing for bankruptcy protection and laying off roughly 200 employees. The group started seeing patients with Baptist May 13.
In a recent press release, National Cardiovascular Partners, LP (NCP), a leading nationwide developer, manager and operator of outpatient cardiovascular facilities, announced a majority interest acquisition in two enterprises in Phoenix, Ariz. Offering cardiac care, ambulatory surgery and catheterization lab services: The Arizona Cardiovascular Institute & the Center for Cardiovascular Research and Education (ACI/CCRE) and Cardiovascular Consultants, Ltd. (CVC), a cardiovascular practice group. As part of the agreement, NCP will assume the daily management and operations of ACI/CCRE, as well as credentialing, and administrative and billing functions Ñ freeing up the center’s physicians to focus exclusively on providing the highest quality of patient care. ACI/CCRE will become part of the NCP network of 24 outpatient centers throughout the United States.
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