IPC The Hospitalist Co. Inc. has acquired its first hospital-based physician group in the Pacific Northwest.

The North Hollywood hospital physician company on Monday said it acquired Hospitalist Specialists PLLC, which is based in Spokane, Wash. and also has operations in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho. The practices have combined annualized volume of around 40,000 patient encounters.

"Given the uncertainties and demands of the evolving healthcare environment, our practice group felt it was important to look for a partner who could provide us with the right balance of autonomy and support,” said Dr. Bob Zurcher, chief executive of Hospitalist Specialists, in a statement.

Zurcher will remain as regional director.

IPC shares were up $1.33, or 2.8 percent, to $48.12 in midday trading on the Nasdaq.