Top academic system inks deal with indie provider Solis Mammography, eyeing ‘spa-like’ imaging expansion

A top academic hospital system in Chicago has inked a deal with independent breast imaging provider Solis Mammography, planning to expand its radiology offerings in “spa-like,” community-based settings.

University of Chicago Medicine and its Addison, Texas-based partner say they will look to marry clinical excellence with patient experience. They’re opening two new outpatient Solis Mammography sites in the south suburb of Orland Park and Chicago’s River East neighborhood soon, the two companies announced Thursday.

Their goal is to “bring important services closer to where patients live and work,” said Hiroyuki Abe, MD, PhD, chief of breast imaging at UChicago Medicine.

“Now more than ever it’s important people feel safe when they go to a medical appointment so they can continue to get important screenings and other preventative care,” he said in a statement.

Solis bill itself as the nation’s largest independent provider of breast health and diagnostic services and home of the “peace of mind mammogram.” The company operates several different partnership models that include hospital joint ventures, in-office operations that are integrated into a practice, and acquisitions, according to its website. Solis also runs roughly 70 imaging centers and has several other high-profile partners, including 184-hospital, for-profit operator HCA Healthcare.

UChicago Medicine radiologists and technologists will staff the two new locations in Illinois, while Solis helps the system provide “up-to-the-minute” breast health practices and technologies. Those include mammography, breast ultrasound, stereotactic breast biopsy, and bone-density screenings.

The partners said they’re keeping a keen eye on safety amid the pandemic, screening all staff and patients, requiring face masks, regularly cleaning surfaces, and practicing social distancing. Patients are also able to schedule appointments online, register rapidly using a tablet and receive their results via email within two business days, according to the announcement. Appointments last no longer than 45 minutes and do not require a physician’s order for cancer screenings.