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North Bay medical specialists merge with Annadel group

A 60-year-old North Bay medical group specializing in radiology and cancer care is merging a major portion of its operations with the Annadel Medical Group, officials said Monday.

The merger, effective today, adds 19 of Redwood Regional Medical Group's physicians — primarily oncologists — to the Annadel group, bringing its membership to 106 health care providers, including 89 physicians.

Details of the merger were finalized Monday, culminating nine months of negotiations between Redwood Regional, Annadel and St. Joseph Health in Sonoma County.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but officials said it involved the sale of fixed assets and equipment and leasing of medical office space occupied by Redwood Regional Medical Group.

Twelve radiologists who were also part of Redwood Regional formed a new entity, Redwood Radiology Group.

"We've got a long way to go," said Bob Just, regional chief operating officer of St. Joseph Heritage Healthcare, the medical practice foundation that partners with the Annadel group. "We're much stronger together."

The merger comes as Sonoma County's three major health care organizations — St. Joseph Health, Sutter Medical Center of Santa Rosa and Kaiser Permanente — are competing for business ties with local physicians during a nationwide consolidation of health care services.

At the same time, independent physicians are seeking the relief of transferring administration, billing, insurance, payroll and other non-medical functions to medical groups.

"There is economic pressure on independent physicians to join up," said Dr. Robert Feiwell of the Redwood Radiology Group.

Redwood Regional, a multi-specialty group, was founded by four radiologists in the mid-1950s and grew to include 31 physicians supported by a staff of 200 employees.


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