Hospitalist Firms Cogent, HMG to Merge

John Commins, April 13, 2011

Cogent Healthcare and Hospitalists Management Group are merging to form the largest private hospitalist company in the nation, the companies declared in a joint statement Wednesday.

The new company -- to be called Cogent-HMG -- will be headquartered in Nashville, TN, and will have nearly 1,000 affiliated hospitalists and extenders practicing at more than 100 healthcare facilities in 27 states, the two companies announced.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

"This combination is a direct result of our strategic outlook for the future of healthcare in the U.S.," Stephen Houff, MD, founder/CEO of Canton, OH-based HMG, said in the joint statement.
Houff, who will become CEO of the combined company, said the merger will create "a stronger platform to help hospitals meet healthcare reform demands mandating greater transparency, quality and cost efficiency."

"The combined company will focus on creating closer alignment between hospitals and physicians, which will be necessary in light of reimbursement changes and ultimately accountable care. Our scale will allow for the significant investment in clinical support, physician recruiting and technology to position us to better help our clients adapt to evolving market needs," Houff said.

HMG partners with small- to medium-sized hospitals in suburban and rural markets, while Cogent, based in Nashville, TN, partners with medium- to large-sized hospitals. 

"This is a natural and complementary partnership that will enable our two similarly-sized companies to benefit from each other's expertise and success," said Gene Fleming, president/CEO of Cogent, who will be executive chairman of the new company.

"Both Cogent and HMG have adopted a strategy of partnering with hospitals to build and manage high-performing, on-site programs," Fleming said in the joint release. "We have historically focused on different segments of the hospital market and each of us has a proven ability to deliver value for our clients in hospital medicine and beyond. The merger will allow the combined company to better serve the full spectrum of hospitals and healthcare systems across the U.S."

While Cogent-HMG will be headquartered in Nashville, it will maintain offices in Canton.  The leadership teams of the two companies will be combined, and specific assignments will be announced in the future. The merger is expected to be finalized this spring.

See Also:
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A Better Way to Pay Hospitalists

6 Tips for Measuring Hospitalist Program Performance

John Commins

John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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