Palmetto Health and the University of South Carolina School of Medicine will formally merge their medical practices beginning Friday.
The hospital system and medical school had been planning for the merger for several years. On Thursday, they announced the launch of Palmetto Health-USC Medical Group, a not-for-profit company that will bring together physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and other health care providers from Palmetto Health and the USC School of Medicine.
The company will be led by Dr. Les Hall, executive dean of the USC medical school. He was chosen in October 2014 to lead both the medical school and the effort to create the Palmetto Health-USC Medical Group.
“This effort will combine (the) medical excellence, compassionate care, clinical research expertise of the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, and the advanced technologies of Palmetto Health,” Hall said in the news release. “We will go beyond caring for people to caring about people. Our goal is to build a system that will be able to provide the people in our community with many new services and areas of expertise, providing greater access to health care they need – in convenient locations.”
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The company said patients cared for by the group’s physicians do not need to make any changes now. All of their records have been transferred to the new group. They will continue to see their doctors at the same locations using the same contact phone numbers and email addresses as they have in the past.
The company said the group has nearly 500 physicians and advanced care providers, including nurse practitioners and physician assistants, and the medical group’s total employment is 2,200. The group will care for 370,000 patients, according to the news release.
“We believe that this is only the beginning of the transformation of how we deliver medical care to our community,” Palmetto Health CEO Charles D. Beaman Jr. said in a news release. “The new Medical Group will serve as the front door to Palmetto Health. It’s where patients will begin to access the depth and breadth of the Palmetto Health system.”
Hospitals in the Palmetto Health system include Palmetto Health Baptist, Palmetto Health Richland, Palmetto Health Toumey in Sumter and Baptist Easley.