MemorialCare Medical Foundation Adds Orange County's Digestive Disease Center to its Ambulatory Surgery Joint Venture Partnerships

MemorialCare Medical Foundation, the physician group division of MemorialCare in Southern California, announced that its Beach Surgical Holdings, LLC joint venture company has entered into a partnership with Digestive Disease Center, a prominent Orange County gastrointestinal (GI) medical specialty facility.

Beach Surgical Holdings, a joint venture between MemorialCare Medical Foundation and the national Surgical Care Affiliates (SCA) acquired a 51% interest in Digestive Disease Center, where SCA will provide strategic and day-to-day management services. Digestive Disease Center, located in Laguna Hills adjacent to Saddleback Medical Center, has been providing care to the community since 1988, and the new ownership interest furthers MemorialCare's integrated delivery system throughout the Southland. The remaining 49% interest is owned by the center's gastroenterology physician partners and Monarch HealthCare.

The Digestive Disease Center is a state-of-the-art GI medical specialty facility. Its five board-certified, fellowship-trained gastroenterologists specialize in digestive disorders and conditions, including colon cancer, GERD (gastroesophageal reflex disease), gallbladder and gallstones, liver disease, pancreatitis, irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn's disease. It is fully equipped to conduct colonoscopy and upper GI endoscopy procedures.

"This physician partnership with MemorialCare and SCA is another example of a sincere effort to improve the alignment of physician, patient and health system goals," said J. Michael Trenbeath , M.D., Digestive Disease Center gastroenterologist. "We are committed to providing our patients with an exceptional level of care and high-quality GI services that are highly convenient, easily accessible and cost effective for the communities we serve."

In February, MemorialCare announced it had joined with Surgical Care Affiliates to form Beach Surgical Holdings, LLC with the goal to develop, acquire and manage ambulatory surgery centers in Orange and Los Angeles counties. The first ventures announced involved partnerships with MemorialCare Surgical Center in Laguna Hills and Saddleback Valley Outpatient Surgery Center in Laguna Woods.

"These joint ventures are deepening physician relationships, expanding outpatient surgical and other offerings, increasing our many activities in population health management, creating efficiencies by managing costs, furthering the continuum of care, leveraging the capabilities of all parties and strengthening MemorialCare's position as a comprehensive, integrated delivery system," says Barry Arbuckle , Ph.D. MemorialCare President & CEO.

"Expansion of ambulatory surgery centers provides convenient options for our growing patient base in Orange and Los Angeles counties. It allows us to expand our reach in regions like South Orange County as well as future opportunities in Orange and Los Angeles counties," says Mark Schafer , M.D., Chief Medical Officer of MemorialCare Medical Foundation, which includes more than 2,000 physicians who are part of its MemorialCare Medical Group, its Independent Practice Association—Greater Newport Physicians, as well as affiliated physicians.

"We are looking forward to further expanding our Digestive Disease Center relationship with Monarch gastroenterologists though this collaboration with MemorialCare Medical Foundation," says Bart Asner , M.D., CEO of Monarch HealthCare. "This offers an excellent opportunity to broaden our outpatient capabilities to achieve better care, lower cost and a superior experience for patients."

"This endeavor—a real partnership between MemorialCare and community gastroenterologists—ultimately benefits all the patients we serve," says Ken Deck , M.D., Associate Medical Director of Monarch Health Care and Physician Leadership Board member of Surgical Care Affiliates. "There is clear evidence that patients have great experiences in outpatient settings, which follows the goal in health care to provide the highest quality care at a lower cost. Actions like these help ensure a strong and positive future for health care."

"This is a great opportunity for significant health care providers to come together and offer advanced specialty services," said Andrew Hayek , President and CEO of Surgical Care Affiliates. "We are proud of our partnership with MemorialCare and look forward to expanding throughout the two-county area."