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What factors impact a radiology facility's decision to put itself up for sale?

John W. Mitchell, Senior Correspondent | December 03, 2019
Business Affairs

Also, because many of their physicians were junior partners, the financial benefits of a sale were less significant. Another factor was that many of their partners enjoyed their practice management duties. Such responsibilities as marketing and IT were essential to their job satisfaction and career growth. In addition, another local specialty group had sold to a national company. Nicola and his partners noted the relationship between those physicians and the health system appeared to be strained. He said it was a quick, easy decision for the group not to sell.

Another panel member, Dr. Lance Lawler, president of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists, was on hand to share the nations' experience with corporate radiology. Over the past 25 years, he said Australia, in particular, embraced the business model quickly. The government's Medicare system is the primary payer for imaging services in Australia.

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In 2010 Australian private radiology revenues were $2.6 billion, compared to $3.9 billion in 2019. Perhaps surprisingly, the corporate market share in Australia in 2010 was 67 percent, yet stands at 51 percent today. He said that while the Australian government has realized some benefit from the corporate model — such as service in rural areas — there is, at other times, friction.

Professional groups representing the corporate practices and the society representing private practices don’t always agree on what radiology public policy is best. This can be confusing to lawmakers in Australia, he said.

Lawler, who is from New Zealand, said his group, the largest in the country, has no plans to switch to a corporate business model.

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