Glendale Adventist Medical Center today launched a new division—the Adventist Health Physicians Network, a statewide medical foundation which will be able to acquire physicians’ practices.

The hospital announced agreements with two medical groups—RapidCare in Glendale and Universal Primary Care. The group also has an agreement with a management service organization, Premier Health Management Group.

The agreements are expected to take effect July 1.

RapidCare consists of two urgent care centers in Glendale and Burbank owned by Drs. Avedis and Ara Tavitian. Universal Primary Care is a multi-specialty medical group.

Under California law, Hospitals can acquire and employ physicians if they create a foundation.

Glendale Adventist said the move will allow the hospital to offer patients seamless, coordinated care and better integration between off-site, ambulatory services and the hospital.

Glendale’s decision to create a foundation and employ physicians follows similar moves by other Valley hospital systems, including Providence Health & Services, which has been recruiting and hiring physicians’ practices in recent months.

The acquired practices offer family medicine, internal medicine, endocrinology and pediatrics services as well as urgent care for minor emergencies like fractures, sprains, and illnesses.

Glendale Adventist said the ability to integrate the doctors with the hospital system will benefit patients and give them more coordinated care as intended in the health care reform legislation.

“The network showcases a partnership, an alignment of the best traits of each entity for the benefit of patients and this community," said Glendale Adventist CEO and President Kevin A. Roberts in a prepared statement. By being part of the hospital system, the physicians will be able to “focus on quality patient care,” rather than running a business.

"We saw the value to integrating our outpatient and physician services with Glendale Adventist Medical Center to better coordinate clinical data and care management for our patients,” Dr. Ara Tavitian said in a prepared statement. She said Glendale was the best partner for this “advancement of health services and integrated care delivery."

Judy Temes