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From the Kansas City Business Journal


Johnson County Imaging Center, a local physician-owned imaging center, has changed its name to Element Medical Imaging as it expands into Missouri.

Alongside its flagship 11,000-square-foot center at 112th Street and College Boulevard, Element opened a 7,500-square-foot facility in Lee's Summit. A 7,000-square-foot imaging center will open in April in Kansas City's Northland.

The imaging center officially rebranded in November, but Dr. Luke Wilson, orthopedic radiologist and managing partner of Element, told the Kansas City Business Journal that the decision to expand has been well underway for at least 18 months.

"Most of the growth factors pushing us to expand aren't really revenue-driven. They're more market-driven," Wilson said. "As physicians, you hear a lot of buzzwords — particularly as the presidential election heats up — about 'value-based medicine' and 'price transparency.' As a physician, I'm not even really sure what those terms mean. It's not like physicians don't offer value. But value-based medicine basically just means, how can health systems provide exceptional medical care at a reasonable price? Our expansion was strategic in the sense that we feel like physicians can control the price of health care, much more so than insurance companies and hospitals, and that's what drove us to the expansion."

The Overland Park location has about 30 employees, and Element will add 10 to each of its new facilities.

"An element is the most fundamental and most important part of anything. It's physical — like oxygen — but it's also an essential characteristic," Wilson said. "We wanted to use that name to illustrate that both the patient and their medical imaging services are the most fundamental, most essential part of their individualized medical care."

The company is discussing plans to build one or two more centers in the greater Kansas City area to make sure Element is "well positioned in all four quadrants of the city," he said.

What differentiates Element from other outpatient imaging centers is the company's unique physician-owned business model.

"Our radiologists rotate and spend a lot of time in the hospital, which increases the collaboration with other specialties. It also allows us to see higher-acuity (patients) and participate in higher-acuity illnesses and disease processes," Wilson said. "We wanted to expand and provide services across the Kansas City metro area because we're involved with hospital systems throughout Kansas City."