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Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star

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Official: Purchase of Reese practice does not signal new direction for Mary Washington Healthcare

The staff at Reese Medical Associates, as pictured on the company website. Dr. W. Andrew Reese is in the back row, fourth from right.

Mary Washington Healthcare has traditionally not owned primary care practices, and the purchase of Reese Medical Associates this month does not signal a change of corporate policy, a hospital official said Tuesday.

The 2010 Affordable Care Act encourages the merger of hospitals and physician practices. The federal legislation says that if providers work in teams to improve care and lower costs, they can share in the savings.

But this merger is not a spinoff of the reform act, said Walt Kiwall, Mary Washington’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. Rather, it was a personal decision by Reese to sell his practice, Kiwall said.

“Dr. Reese approached us to see if we had any interest in working with him,” Kiwall said. “We have not made it a practice to go out and purchase primary care practices, but if practices are interested in speaking with us about that, we’re interested in speaking with them.”

Reese Medical Associates is Mary Washington’s third primary care practice. The company also owns Ladysmith Medical Center and the Medical Center of Stafford on Garrisonville Road. Mary Washington also owns 14 specialty practices.

Mary Washington started talking with Reese about six months ago. The sale was effective Jan. 1. Kiwall declined to name the sale price. Reese could not be reached for comment.

The sale did not include the real estate at Reese’s two practice locations. Reese retains ownership of the property at 10620 Spotsylvania Avenue and at his new office at 4535 Spotsylvania Parkway. Mary Washington will lease the office space from Reese, Kiwall said.

The sale means that Reese and three of his colleagues, Drs. Diep Nguyen, Nelson Henry and Nikki Spain, are now Mary Washington-employed doctors. MWHC is still talking with Dr. Gabiel Szmigiel about working for the hospital company, Kiwall said. Dr. Warren Wolfe will not be transferring to the hospital. Two physician assistants and 22 other staff members from the practice also will be employed by the hospital, he said.

One of Reese’s offices is located across from the entrance to the Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center, and the other is near the Spotsylvania hospital. Reese and his colleagues have clinical privileges at Spotsylvania Regional, and Kiwall said he expects them to retain those privileges.

“We don’t have any issue with that,” he said. “There are things that they may need to have done there because of proximity.”

The doctors also won’t be expected to automatically refer patients to Mary Washington Hospital or to the specialty practices owned by Mary Washington, he said.

“We expect them to continue doing the referrals that work best for them,” Kiwall said.

(An earlier blog post about the sale can be found here.)