January 30, 1997
Media Contact: Gary Stephenson
Phone: (410) 955-5384

Drs. Schultze, Snider & Associates, Diagnostic Radiology Associates, Calvert Radiology and Johns Hopkins Imaging have merged to create American Radiology Services, Inc. (ARS). American Radiology Services becomes one of the region's largest providers of radiology services.

The formation of ARS represents the merger of existing, successful radiology practices that will offer a well-established network of community-based radiology locations spanning 10 counties throughout Central Maryland. American Radiology Services is comprised of more than 75 physicians, 25 outpatient locations and serves the diagnostic imaging needs of 13 hospitals. The hospitals include Sinai, St. Mary's, Union Memorial, Good Samaritan, Bon Secours, Fallston General, Howard County General, Harford Memorial, Kent & Queen Anne's, Physicians Memorial, Calvert Memorial, Maryland General and The New Children's Hospital.

As a result of the merger, ARS will be the owner of Radiology Alliance Delivery System (R.A.D.S.), a regional radiology network formerly owned by Drs. Schultze, Snider & Associates. R.A.D.S. is one of the nation's largest and most successful radiology networks. R.A.D.S. currently contracts with many of the region's largest managed care companies and provides imaging services for more than 630,000 covered lives.

Under the structure of ARS, participating physicians will work within a professional association under a management services organization (MSO). The MSO will acquire the assets and liabilities of the various radiology groups in a full-asset merger. A four-person board of directors, composed of Stuart Rabinowitz, M.D., Ph.D., President of Drs. Schultze, Snider & Associates, Noah Lightman, M.D., Vice President of Diagnostic Radiology Associates, Ahmad Fakhri, M.D., President of Calvert Radiology, and Elias Zerhouni, M.D., President and CEO of Johns Hopkins Imaging and Chairman of the Department of Radiology at Johns Hopkins University, has been appointed for ARS.

By consolidating general and administrative services into the MSO, streamlining operations among its offices, eliminating duplicate geographic coverage and centralizing quality assurance functions, ARS expects to trim costs while maximizing quality and value. This combination will make ARS more competitive in a highly competitive marketplace, according to Dr. Rabinowitz.

"By joining together, we can operate more efficiently and effectively with a high level of quality," he said. "This economy of scale makes us more attractive to managed care organizations and others seeking convenient, high-quality and cost-effective services."

"Quality will be a primary objective of ARS," said Dr. Zerhouni. "We will develop and implement new clinical protocols, patient outcomes tracking and analysis systems, and communications tools to ensure that patients and physicians are kept informed of results in a timely fashion and receive the best imaging information at the lowest cost possible." The expertise of the Hopkins radiologists and faculty will be available to ARS for consultations and the provision of specialty imaging services whenever needed. ARS sites will have the capability of transmitting images via a high-tech teleradiology system to each other as well as to Hopkins radiologists, enabling ARS to provide the highest degree of subspecialty expertise to professional interpretations.

Dr. Lightman notes that the partnership between a major academic medical center like Hopkins with independent radiology groups is unique. "Based on information available and our knowledge of the marketplace, this is the first time an academic medical center has entered into a corporate structure with private practice radiologists to provide outpatient radiology services," he said. "The ARS affiliation with Hopkins will combine the high-tech resources of a university with the local delivery systems of private practice radiologists."

The physicians within the ARS practices have trained in many of the finest residency and fellowship programs in the country. There is expertise in sports medicine and orthopedic radiology, 3-D reconstruction, MRI, cross-sectional body imaging, neuroradiology, breast imaging, vascular/interventional radiology, pediatric radiology, ultrasound, nuclear medicine, nuclear cardiology and radiation oncology. Many of the radiologists have published articles, written textbooks and delivered lectures in their areas of expertise.

Future plans for ARS include the development of a regional presence through mergers and acquisitions of radiology practices in Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C., Southern Pennsylvania, Western Maryland, the Maryland Eastern Shore and Delaware. ARS' strategic focus will then be to progress from a regional to a national provider as it pursues mergers and acquisitions that will allow it to enter other geographic markets, according to Dr. Fakhri. "With its creation, ARS becomes one of the largest, most comprehensive providers of state-of-the-art radiology services in Maryland." Adds Dr. Zerhouni, "As we expand, it is our goal to become the provider of choice for the region, and the nation."

-- JHMI --
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