Published: December 21, 2023

Radiology Business talks to CEO Mitchell Hollander, M.D., about integrating interventional radiology procedures at MIU

Interventional radiology’s integration with independent urology practices is a growing trend, according to those involved with one such partnership.

The latest example is the Michigan Institute of Urology, which is teaming with Prostate Centers USA to open IR Centers at MIU on Dec. 27. Located in the Detroit suburb of Troy, the dedicated outpatient interventional radiology center will offer a range of minimally invasive treatments including prostate artery embolization.

MIU has hired vascular interventional radiologist Scott E. Schwartz, MD, who previously served as division chief of IR at Henry Ford Hospital, to oversee the new center. Mitchell B. Hollander, MD, CEO of the urology group, believes integration will become increasingly more common as his specialty seeks to move care into community-based outpatient settings to better serve patients.

“We started thinking of the value-based edge that a urology group could have versus performing these procedures in the hospital,” he told Radiology Business. “We can reduce costs, we can improve access and provide higher quality, we believe, than in the hospital,” he added later. “By partnering with Prostate Centers USA, we didn’t have to reinvent the wheel. Obviously, we don’t do interventional radiology at MIU, but to join forces with our colleagues to provide this value-based model, it seemed very appealing to us.”

Prostate Centers USA is headquartered in McLean, Virginia, and operates a network of locations across several states. Under terms of their agreement, PCU will manage the center and handle the billing. (Hollander noted that MIU is unfamiliar with how to bill for these procedures.) He labeled the arrangement as a managed services agreement, with MIU paying a management fee.

Hollander sees these partnerships growing in popularity among his specialty. He pointed to other independent groups including Anne Arundel Urology in Maryland, that use similar arrangements. Others, meanwhile, are hiring interventional radiologists and starting such services “from scratch.”

“I do believe this is going to be a trend,” he told Radiology Business. “This is something that no one has really done in the past: urologists partnering with interventional radiologists. But when you look at it more closely, it makes sense.”

Interventional radiologist Sandeep Bagla, MD, founder and CEO of Prostate Centers USA, agrees. His company has multiple other collaborations with urology groups in several other states. Thus far, these arrangements appear to “work out great,” he said.

“The impetus for starting this collaborative relationship is based on the foundation that patients who typically go see urologists don’t get offered this type of minimally invasive option because they don’t have interventional radiology in their practice,” Bagla said by phone. “More appropriately, they don’t get offered it by high-volume and high-experience physicians. So, the goal of bringing IR centers together with Michigan Institute of Urology was to set up a collaborative relationship so that within the practice they can provide all the treatment options for [benign prostatic hyperplasia] rather than having two different specialties provide them independently. It’s better to provide it together because then the patients get a more appropriate clinical workup, they get selected better, and they have more choice.”

The new center will offer a comprehensive range of treatments, including prostate artery embolization for men suffering from enlarged prostates. IR Centers at MIU will eventually expand its services to include other minimally invasive procedures such as varicoceles for male infertility, uterine fibroids, pelvic congestion syndrome, and hemorrhoids.

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