The Ottumwa Courier

May 7, 2013

Clinic keeps name ... for now

By MARK NEWMAN Courier staff writer
Ottumwa Courier

---- — OTTUMWA — There’s a reason your doctor’s bill may have a different name on it — and a reason you haven’t heard much publicity about the change.

Ottumwa Family Practice and the Internal Medicine North facility are owned by Iowa Health Physicians and Clinics. IHPC recently changed their name to Unity Point Health Systems. The change has to do with the idea that they’ve expanded beyond Iowa. In other cities, they’ve made the name change announcement. In Ottumwa, they’ve kept it relatively quiet.

“That’s a very recent change,” said Heather Nahas, spokeswoman for IHPC/Unity Point, “so you will start seeing that on patients’ statements and so forth. We haven’t made as big of a splash in the Ottumwa market [about] it due to the circumstances being a little bit unique.”

In February, Iowa Health Physicians and Clinics announced publicly it will no longer operate Ottumwa Internal Medicine North or Ottumwa Family Practice. At that time, Nahas replied that this is not a move to close the clinic or to get rid of the 45 staff members plus 15 Ottumwa doctors employed by Iowa Health Systems here.

The goal is to have someone else take over management of the Ottumwa operation. They have until the end of June.

“As of July 1, we will no longer be part of ‘Unity Point,’” said Dr. Peter Reiter, an Ottumwa doctor who is the lead physician for the transition.

They’ve worked hard, he said, looking for a good fit to take over the Ottumwa clinics.

Nahas said there’s been progress.

“Still no official announcement yet, but I think we are very close,” she said.

Ottumwa doctors are optimistic.

“We’re in serious discussions with a strong prospect,” said Reiter. “We expect a seamless transition with uninterrupted patient care. Hopefully, we’ll have an announcement soon.”

To see Mark Newman’s Twitter page, go to @couriermark.