Change For The Better

New ownership plans updates to benefit the community.

There’s been a changing of the guard in Deltona. On June 1, 2019, LAD imaging became Akumin. It’s good news for the community. While the name of the facility has changed, the staff and friendly care have not. Akumin picked up LAD imaging’s legacy of service to the West Volusia area, which LAD imaging had served for more than 40 years.

Photo by Nerissa Johnson.

Members of the Akumin staff include, left to right: Jennifer Lyons, Terri Lagerence, Jennifer Burkhart, Debbie Davenport and Nedi Segarra

Serving communities with high-quality outpatient imaging services is at the crux of Akumin’s corporate philosophy, as well as its business model. Rohit Navani, chief operating officer and executive vice president at Akumin, details the company’s skyrocketing growth based on that one simple principle.

“Akumin began four years ago with thirteen clinics in Florida – nine in South Florida and four in Jacksonville,” Rohit describes. “Today, we have one hundred twenty-five clinics across seven states, and we’re the second largest provider of outpatient imaging services in the country by number of clinics. And we’re a publicly traded company.

“We’ve had quite a journey over the past four years, and a big part of that journey has involved identifying the direction the industry is taking. There has been a significant shift toward consolidation in the imaging industry. Our growth strategy includes ventures in that direction.”

“Akumin has a very aggressive growth strategy,” adds Jason Richardson, vice president of marketing. “We want to be the number one outpatient imaging provider in the entire United States, and Florida is our backbone. Florida is where we have the most locations, so having a flag in the ground in Deltona fits right into our growth plan for the state.”

Unlike large hospitals and hospital systems, which offer outpatient imaging as an ancillary service, Akumin is dedicated solely to outpatient imaging. They don’t offer any other health care services. As a result, they can devote all their resources to continually improving the quality of their services as well as their care to patients and referring physicians.

“LAD imaging was part of HCA Healthcare, a for-profit operator of health care facilities,” Rohit informs. “HCA is a global company that does many things besides outpatient imaging. HCA’s core business is running hospitals and other inpatient facilities, and they concentrate on those services, not on outpatient imaging.

“Over the years, LAD imaging was part of HCA, but it didn’t receive the love and attention from HCA in terms of investment in technology, equipment and personnel. About a year ago, HCA decided to focus on its core business and sell its imaging center. They identified Akumin as its best partner in the transition. We closed the deal on LAD imaging on May 31.”

With outpatient imaging as its core competency, Akumin can offer better, faster service, and higher-quality imaging exams and reports, which benefit referring physicians and patients alike. There is a staff radiologist on site to read general exams, but Akumin also uses a large team of fellowship-trained radiologists to evaluate specialty cases.

“We work with a group of more than one hundred radiologists, and we align the studies with the appropriate radiologists,” Rohit notes. “For example, women’s imaging studies are read by radiologists with specialized training in women’s imaging, and musculoskeletal studies are read by fellowship-trained musculoskeletal radiologists.”

“We use radiologists from all over the United States, and they’re all fellowship-trained subspecialty radiologists,” Jason confirms. “So, if we perform a brain scan, our neuroradiologists are reading it, and if it’s a shoulder scan, our musculoskeletal radiologists are reading it. This specialization increases the quality of the study reports.

“Once the radiologists have studied the exams, they dictate their reports through our facility, and we send the reports to the referring physicians.”

Ultimate Upgrades

As Akumin took over ownership of LAD imaging in June, it carried with it a goal of offering excellence in outpatient imaging to the region. It developed an ongoing plan for improving the facility’s services and equipment.

“Our strategy as we make the transition is to upgrade equipment as it makes sense,” Jason relates. “The leaders at Akumin are big fans of technology and having the most up-to-date technology available at all of our clinics.”

“One of the first services we’re going to address is women’s imaging,” Rohit reports. “We plan to upgrade the technology and add three-dimensional mammography. Three-D is the leading-edge in mammography equipment, and we’ve already upgraded the majority of our clinics with that technology. We definitely plan to make that investment at the Deltona facility.”

Akumin plans to invest in the Deltona clinic in other, more subtle ways, as well.

“We’re not looking to change anything from the customer service standpoint, from taking care of the patients and referring community,” Jason relates. “LAD imaging did a fantastic job with that, so we just want to build on what they’ve already done.

“One of the things we could see changing, however, are the hours of operation. Right now, the facility closes at six p.m., where many of our locations throughout the country are open until at least ten p.m. Extending our hours is something we plan to consider.

“In addition, many of our locations operate seven days a week. As I understand it, LAD imaging offered a few hours during the day on Saturday. Expanding the days of the week we’re open is another thing we intend to look at closely.”

“Today, we have one hundred twenty-five clinics across seven states, and we’re the second largest provider of outpatient imaging services in the country by number of clinics.”– Rohit

Like LAD imaging before it, Akumin is committed to all of the people it serves. Akumin officials established a three-step strategy to begin addressing the concerns of those populations.

“We want to do right by the community, the referring physicians and the patients,” Jason stresses. “First, we’ll take a hard look at what’s missing in the community, what needs aren’t being met, and determine how we can change that.

“Second, we’ll investigate any issues referring physicians may have had with the referral process in the past and resolve those issues immediately. Third, we want patients to understand that we are a low-cost provider, and we’ll work with them on a financial basis so that everyone can afford their imaging exams.”

Seeing Into the Future

Akumin is a fully accredited, outpatient imaging center. It provides the community with access to a wide range of diagnostic imaging exams. These include traditional x-rays, computed tomography (CT), mammography, DEXA scans (bone density), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound. And they participate in most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid.

The staff at Akumin understands that outpatient diagnostic imaging is an integral part of health care. It helps referring physicians uncover new disorders and follow the course of existing diseases. High-quality images enhance patient-physician decision making and can reduce unnecessary medical procedures.

In addition to being an integral part of the health care process, Akumin is also an integral part of the community it serves. When Akumin first arrived in Deltona, it took time to understand the atmosphere locally and discovered its corporate vision was a perfect fit.

“Deltona is a tight-knit community,” Jason describes. “The people are very proud of where they live, and that’s something Akumin believes in as a company. We may be a large organization, but we have that mom-and-pop feel. We bring the flavor of a hometown company to this community.

“Akumin is extremely excited to take over LAD imaging,” Jason continues. “We look forward to helping this community grow from a health care standpoint.”

“The switch from LAD imaging to Akumin is a win-win for Akumin as we continue to expand our footprint,” Rohit says. “It’s also a win for the community, the referring physicians and the employees. We’ve made no changes in the employees, so the community can expect the same or better service, since outpatient imaging is all we do.

“The community can also feel confident in Akumin because we’re making investments in technology at the facility. We’re making an investment for the future in Deltona.”

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    • Akumin

      Akumin’s Deltona facility has been providing superior imaging services to the local community for over 40 years. Centrally located in Deltona, next to the neighborhood Walmart, this 5,500 sq ft facility has outside front door parking and wheel... Read More