Barton buys Zephyr Medical Center |

Barton buys Zephyr Medical Center

Jill Darby

Barton Memorial Hospital added Zephyr Medical Center to its list of acquisitions at the end of January.

It was a sound investment, said Gerry Conley, administrator of management services organization.

“It will benefit Barton in that it gives us the presence of another vital care outlet midway between two of our bigger operations,” Conley said. “It will be a safe investment because it continues to grow.”

Zephyr Medical Center will be able to offer additional services, said Barton CEO Bill Gordon.

“We added Zephyr Cove Medical Center to our health care network for several reasons,” Gordon said. “The medical center is in an excellent, convenient location and can easily be expanded.”

Carson-Tahoe Hospital was also interested in Zephyr Medical Center, according to Administrator Steve Smith.

“A couple years ago we did try to buy Dr. Rezaei’s practice but found that it was not financially feasible in our evaluations at that time,” Smith said. “Right now we’re concentrating on the markets down here in the valley and have not targeted South Lake Tahoe. However, if patients do not use Barton Hospital, we sure would like them to use our hospital.”

Zephyr Medical Center founder Dr. Rebecca Rezaei said she is excited about Barton’s new role in her practice.

“This means we can spend more time taking care of our patients,” said Rezaei, who opened Zephyr Medical Center in 1996. “Barton Memorial Hospital has taken over the administrative work and will be providing us with additional resources, such as laboratory services and health care specialists.”

How will all of this affect the nearby Stateline Medical Center?

“I don’t know what the impact will be,” Stateline Medical Center’s Dr. Steve Brooks said. “I really don’t know much about it.”

Stateline Medical Center opened its doors in 1979. Dr. Paul Marlowe began there in 1983, followed by Brooks in 1984 and recently joined by Dr. William Everts last year.

In the past 21 years, Stateline has built a strong clientele.

According to Brooks, a little competition never hurt anyone.

“We’re kind of just friendly competitors,” Brooks said. “And sometimes competition is good for business. There’s Burger King and McDonald’s on the same corner; Safeway and Raley’s.”

Conley agreed.

“Competition is good for everybody,” Conley said, using the same analogy, “There’s Burger King and McDonald’s on the same corner.”

Smith also had something to say about competition.

“People seem to want to make a bigger fight between Carson-Tahoe Hospital and Barton than there really is,” he said. “Bill (Gordon) and I talk often and we share patient concerns. Basically, we just want to be an alternative for people who do not use Barton Hospital.”

Conley said competition had nothing do with Barton’s recent purchase, but listed patient growth as one of the main reasons Barton bought Zephyr Medical Center.

“Our other practices are growing and we really needed another outlet for the business we already had,” Conley said. “It’s for patient convenience and physician convenience.”

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