USC’s medical system announced on Wednesday that it will partner with Surgical Care Affiliates Inc. to jointly manage surgery centers in the Los Angeles region, starting with one in Glendale.

Surgical Care is a publicly traded company in Deerfield, Ill., that provides surgery services, often working with academic hospitals. Under the agreement with Keck Medicine of USC, the university will supply the surgeons and Surgical Care will manage the day-to-day activities in the operating rooms.

The first outpatient location to utilize the new model will be Keck Medicine of USC Surgical Center in Glendale, which offers endoscopy, orthopedic and urology procedures. USC acquired 51 percent of the doctor’s group, leaving the private physicians with 49 percent.

The Glendale center and others opened under the partnership will focus on ambulatory surgery: procedures that get patients in and out in 23 hours or less.

“Keck is known for more serious procedures like brain surgery,” said Shawn Sheffield, chief strategy and system development officer at Keck Medicine of USC. “With the whole Joan Rivers thing it became clear that even minor surgery can get very serious, so you want to make sure you go to an ambulatory center with good protocols.”

In addition to the Glendale practice, USC also recently acquired doctor groups in Bakersfield, Newport Beach and Irvine. It previously had established clinics in La Cañada Flintridge, Pasadena and Beverly Hills. For now, the deal with Surgical Care covers only the Glendale clinic.

Last year, USC purchased USC Verdugo Hills Hospital in Glendale. The acquisitions come as USC, UCLA and other hospital systems seek to expand and build community clinics, which are encouraged by the federal health care reform law.

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