Northwell Health has acquired Eastern Suffolk Cardiology, a move that gives the health care giant a large cardiology footprint on the East End.
Eastern Suffolk, which has been renamed Northwell Health Physician Partners Cardiology, has locations in Hampton Bays, Riverhead, Southampton and Wading River. In 2015, the cardiac-care practice had about 23,000 office visits.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“It’s a very strategic fit for us,” said Dr. Stanley Katz, chair and professor of cardiology at the Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine. “Up until now, we didn’t have market share on the North Fork or South Fork. Eastern Suffolk is one of the two cardiology groups that support the area, so now we do.”
Northwell is also building a cardiology program at Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead, which joined the health care system in January.
Winthrop-University Hospital also competes on eastern Long Island through East End Cardiology, which has offices in Riverhead and Greenport. Winthrop, which is based in Mineola, also owns a smaller practice in Shoreham called Shoreham Medical Services.
The number of cardiologists integrating into health systems has increased sharply since 2010, when Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services payments dropped significantly to practices doing outpatient, noninvasive testing, said Dr. C. Michael Valentine, vice president of the American College of Cardiology, and a cardiologist in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Valentine added that the cost of IT systems has also been a contributing factor.
The former Eastern Suffolk Cardiology has nine board-certified physicians who specialize in internal medicine, echocardiology, nuclear cardiology and cardiovascular disease, as well as five physician assistants and a nurse practitioner, according to Northwell.
Northwell Health is Long Island’s largest employer. The network has more than 31,000 full- and part-time employees on Long Island. It is the largest private employer in New York State.