MD Medical Group, a Las Colinas-based company that runs primary care clinics largely in D-FW, is acquiring 13 pediatric clinics from Children’s Health Texas.
Three additional Children’s Health clinics will close, though one may be reborn as a telemedicine clinic.
The deal significantly reduces the ownership stake of Children’s Health within the business of pediatric primary care. Children’s Health is the nation’s eighth-largest pediatric health care provider.
The system will continue to be involved in primary care in other ways, David Berry, who leads clinical and scientific operations for Children’s Health, said in a statement.
It operates a telehealth program available in 100 North Texas schools and will continue to train pediatric primary care specialists through its residency program.
The health system confirmed Wednesday that it announced the sale, which is set to be complete June 4, internally to staff. The announcement took pediatricians and community groups by surprise.
Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, and details about the transaction remain spotty. The change affects 17 community-based pediatric clinics that operate under the Children’s Health Pediatric Group, a network of pediatric care providers that handles more than 181,000 patient visits each year.
As part of the deal, 13 Children’s Health clinics will become majority owned by MD Medical Group, a company that has been rapidly expanding since it was founded in 2007 by a primary care doctor. The clinic at the Children’s Medical Center of Dallas will still be operated by the health system.
But, three locations— on Preston Road in Celina, Pleasant Run Road in DeSoto and at the St. Philip’s School and Community Center on Pennsylvania Avenue in South Dallas— will close, at least temporarily.
Dozens of pediatricians will lose their jobs, according to CBS-DFW, which first reported the closures.
The last day those clinics will see patients is Friday, and their doors will officially close on June 1, staff later told The Dallas Morning News.
The news was disappointing to Terry Flowers, executive director of St. Philip’s School. It deals a blow to communities like South Dallas, which has some of the worst health care disparities in the region.
“The challenge is access,” Flowers said. “It’s not easy to navigate health care resources in our city right now.”
An official with MD Medical Group said the St. Philip’s site could become a telemedicine site where patients would be connected virtually to a specialist. No physician would be on site.
Flowers said, however, that he already is in talks with other health care groups to try to fill the void at St. Philip’s.
MD Medical Group, a privately held company initially established to serve the Hispanic community, already runs 38 family practice and pediatric clinics, largely in North Texas, but also in Houston and Beaumont. Those facilities operate under the names Clinicas Mi Doctor and MD Kids Pediatrics.
During the transition in June, Children’s Health clinics in several communities, including Bachman Lake, Carrollton, Cedar Hill, Cockrell Hill, Garland, Irving, Lake Highlands, Lancaster Kiest, McKinney, Oak Cliff, Pleasant Grove, Prosper and West Plano, will adopt the MD Kids Pediatrics logo.
Alvaro Saenz, CEO of MD Medical Group, said the organization plans to include telemedicine services at all of the family practice clinics it operates, including the newly acquired ones, to improve access to care.
“The advantage is that you have the ability to connect with the specialist right away, which a stand-alone clinic does not give you,” he said.
MD Medical also has hired about 20 practitioners and plans to extend the operating hours of the MD Kids Pediatric offices.