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US HealthWorks expands again

Health care provider plans significant future growth

Posted: November 2, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: November 2, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Dr. Larry Barnhart, right, and Bill Quinn, physician's assistant, review patient files at U.S. HealthWorks medical center in Valencia in February 2011.


Valencia-based U.S. HealthWorks, one of the largest operators of occupational and urgent care health care centers in the United States, announced Thursday that is has acquired Priority Care Inc. of Erie, Penn.

The purchase represents the third U.S. HealthWorks medical center in that state, and a long string of acquisition of existing medical practices throughout the country in the past few years.

With this latest purchase, U.S. HealthWorks now operates 173 health care centers nationwide. Terms of the transaction, effective Oct. 31, were not disclosed.

“We are very excited to expand our footprint into the Northwest Pennsylvania region,” said Angela Fort, regional vice president for the Northeast and Midwest Regions.

The companies say the purchase makes a good match because both operate as urgent care and occupational health care practices.

“It shares the same goals that we have strived to maintain at Priority Care — providing excellent medical care and doing all we can to help workers get back on the job,” said Dr. Donald Viscusi, medical director of Priority Care.

Dr. Larry Barnhart and Dr. Ralph Farinella opened medical clinics in Saugus and Canyon Country, operating both centers, founded locally in 1985, by two physicians, under Farinella’s retirement in 2000.

Barnhart later opened a Valencia clinic in 1992, closing the Canyon Country location. U.S. HealthWorks purchased the medical centers in January 2009.

Dignity Health of San Francisco, a Catholic-operated health care organization, merged with U.S. HealthWorks in June 2012. Dignity Health has acute care hospitals and secondary care centers.

The local health care, however, continues to operate under its name and remains based in Santa Clarita.

U.S. HealthWorks functions as a stand-alone, wholly owned for-profit subsidiary of Dignity Health, Diane Yu, vice president of sales and marketing told the newspaper in July.

U.S. HealthWorks that its centers help employers control work-related injury costs through quality medical care and effective management of claims and lost work time, specializing in early return-to-work programs, injury prevention and wellness programs.

In September, U.S. HealthWorks appointed John C. Duncan as vice president of government affairs to “foster strong partnerships with state and federal government agencies involved in workers’ compensation issues.

The organization appointed Duncan because it is positioning itself for significant growth in the years ahead, a spokesman for the organization said.

The medical clinics are now in 15 states and the practices employ more than 2,700 employees — including some 800 medical providers — nationwide. The health care provider also reports that it serves more than 12,000 patients each day throughout the country.




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