Friday, July 4, 2008

Pediatrix Acquires Atlanta Anesthesia Group Practice

BUSINESS WIRE--Pediatrix Medical Group, Inc. (NYSE: PDX) has completed the acquisition of Georgia Perioperative Consultants, LLC, an anesthesia physician group practice that provides services to patients treated at facilities in the Atlanta metropolitan area.

Georgia Perioperative consists of 28 physicians and 66 certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) and anesthesia assistants who practice at Atlanta’s Piedmont Hospital, Piedmont Fayette Hospital, and five ambulatory surgery centers in the Atlanta area.

The transaction is Pediatrix’s second anesthesia group practice acquisition and advances the Company’s strategy of building a national group practice of anesthesia services to parallel its neonatal, maternal fetal, pediatric cardiology and pediatric intensivist physician services. Pediatrix’s first anesthesia acquisition, Fairfax Anesthesiology Associates, based in northern Virginia, was completed in September 2007.

The physicians at Georgia Perioperative joined Pediatrix for a variety of reasons, including the opportunity to collaborate with anesthesia practices across the United States to improve patient care, as well as to gain needed administrative support to manage anticipated growth.

“We expect that as part of Pediatrix we’ll enjoy some relief from many of the pressures on the business side of our practice, and that we’ll play a role in helping to shape the future of anesthesia services within this organization,” said Jeffrey D. Shapiro, M.D., President of Georgia Perioperative Consultants. “We’re excited about building on Pediatrix’s approach to clinical quality and best practices and working with other groups to transfer those skills to anesthesia.”

The Georgia Perioperative practice was formed in 1970 and has worked with Piedmont Hospital, a 481-bed tertiary care center, to provide anesthesia services since then. The practice has grown with the hospital system and the surrounding communities. Piedmont Fayette is a 143-bed acute care community hospital located in Fayetteville, GA. Pediatrix physicians staff the neonatal intensive care units at both hospitals.

“With Georgia Perioperative, and Fairfax Anesthesiology, we’re demonstrating that we have the right model to attract leading anesthesia practices, in growing markets, to help us to build a national practice within this specialty,” said Roger J. Medel, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Pediatrix. “As we execute on our strategy, we will be very deliberate in delivering added value to those physicians who join us, to our hospital partners and ultimately to our patients.”

Georgia Perioperative will be integrated into American Anesthesiology, a division of Pediatrix, which will apply Pediatrix’s core competency of managing the numerous administrative functions of hospital-based physician groups to anesthesia practices, allowing anesthesiologists, nurse anesthetists and anesthesia assistants more time to provide patient care. Pediatrix also encourages its physicians to use aggregated clinical data to conduct ongoing research, education and collaborative initiatives to improve patient care.

Pediatrix paid cash for the practice, which is expected to contribute annual earnings of approximately three cents per share after considering amortization expense and foregone investment income. The estimated earnings are based on Georgia Perioperative’s current operations and does not include potential improvements under Pediatrix’s processes. Additional terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Pediatrix now has more than 200 anesthesia providers, including more than 80 anesthesiologists and more than 120 CRNAs and anesthesia assistants providing patient care in Georgia and Virginia.

The Company remains focused on expanding its historical physician services around newborn, maternal fetal and pediatric subspecialty care, as well as building its anesthesia physician services. In addition to Georgia Perioperative, Pediatrix has acquired one neonatal, one maternal fetal and three pediatric cardiology group practices, during 2008.

Separately, the Company announced that it has completed the $100 million share repurchase program that had been authorized in late May.

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