Gastro Health, a national leading medical group specializing in digestive and liver health, has partnered with a group of 17 hospital-based gastroenterologists who will now become part of Gastro Health - Ohio, also known as Ohio GI, as of July 1.

The group of board-certified gastroenterologists will make the move from a Cincinnati-based hospital system. With this addition, Gastro Health - Ohio will now expand from 22 to 39 gastroenterologists, and have six advanced practice providers, across nine clinical practice locations and three endoscopy centers.

“Having this many experienced gastroenterologists joining Gastro Health together is a testament to the level of support we provide our physicians so that they can do what they do best, which is delivering the highest quality of care to patients,” said Gastro Health CEO Joseph Garcia. “Patients throughout the Cincinnati Metropolitan area will now have easier access to specialized GI care; and our goal is to continue to develop our presence in this region.”

This move mirrors a trend being seen in healthcare where physicians are choosing to join private practices over employment in a hospital setting. In the absence of hospital policies and regulations, private practices offer physicians the ability to set their own company culture which, in turn, creates a more “family-like” feel for patients. In addition, many physicians struggle with the constraints of a hospital setting which dictates where they perform surgery, what tools they will be able to use, and what materials they will have.

“Having clinical autonomy to practice medicine that I feel is in the best interest of my patients was a real driving point in my decision,” said Nav Grandhi, M.D. “When healthcare decisions are left in the hands of physicians, rather than influenced by the interests of other organizations, we are free to offer the best medical course of care, which ultimately increases patient trust and outcomes.”

Patients who see physicians in a private practice setting also benefit from lower costs and greater access to care with the ability to book appointments in a timelier manner.

The corporatization of medicine can also lead to physician burnout much more often than their independent counterparts. Studies have found that physicians who have independence and control over their aspects of work experience an improved quality of life, which translates into enthusiasm for their work and the patients they treat.

“We’re thrilled that this group of physicians has decided to join our team,” said Pradeep K. Bekal, M.D., FACG, FASGE, Vice President of Clinical Affairs for Gastro Health - Ohio and former president of Ohio GI before joining Gastro Health. “Our centralized group, managed by Daniel Walker, Division Vice President of Ohio, will continue to offer our community excellent care at lower costs.”

This latest acquisition by Gastro Health is part of a continued national growth and expansion period in the single-specialty gastroenterology sector over the last two years. Gastro Health has a presence in six states – Florida, Alabama, Washington, Virginia, Ohio, and Maryland – with over 100 locations and 350 providers consisting of medical office practices, infusion centers, imaging services, and a specialty pharmacy. Additionally, Gastro Health owns and operates endoscopy centers in five of the six states.