April 20, 2017

Sources: Reliant Medical to be acquired

Nathan Fiske
Tarek Elsawy, left, took over as president and CEO of Reliant Medical Group last year.

The largest independent physician practice in Central Massachusetts – Reliant Medical Group in Worcester – is close to signing an agreement to be acquired, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation.

Reliant doctors have been telling people in the healthcare community the company with 2,500 employees and $677.5 million in annual revenue will soon be part of a much larger organization.

In an e-mail statement Wednesday evening, Reliant spokesman Michael Masseur declined to comment directly on claims the company is close to signing an acquisition, but he did say that is always a possibility.

"Reliant regularly explores strategic partnerships that have the potential to enhance the services we provide to our patients. If and when we have any specific and/or definitive information we will share it," Masseur wrote.

One anonymous source said Reliant doctors are saying the company that will purchase Reliant will be OptumHealth, a Minnesota-based division of national insurer and health management organization UnitedHealthcare.

An Optum spokeswoman did not respond for requests for comment by deadline Thursday morning.

When asked directly if Optum was the acquiring company, Masseur neither confirmed nor denied the claim.

One of the the top 10 largest Central Massachusetts employers, Reliant Medical Group acquired Southboro Medical Group in 2015, making the organization the largest independent physician practice in Central Massachusetts. The company employs about 2,500 people, including more than 500 providers, and cares for more than 320,000 patients, according to the company.

It reported revenue of $677.5 million in 2016.

In 2015, Reliant ended the year with an operating loss of $9.7 million, but in 2016, under the direction of its new CEO, Tarek Elsawy, Reliant turned those results around and was aiming to end the year with a $15.5-million operating surplus.

Reliant has deep roots in the Worcester area. It was formerly known as Fallon Clinic, under the same organization as insurer Fallon Health, but Reliant formed a separate company when it split from Fallon in 2011. Fallon Clinic was founded in 1929, making Reliant the region's first group medical practice, according to the website.

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