ASCOA, Regent Surgical Health, ASD Management, Meridian Surgical Partners & Physicians Endoscopy: 5 Key Facts About 5 Large ASC Companies

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Here is information on five large ambulatory surgery center management and development companies.

1. ASCOA (Hanover, Mass.). Over the years, Ambulatory Surgery Centers of America has attracted some of the brightest people in the surgery center business.  Founded in 1997, ASCOA is led by CEO Luke Lambert, MBA, CFA, CASC; COO Laurie Hendrix, BSN, RN, CASC; CFO Robert Westergard, CPA; and CDO and founder Brent W. Lambert, MD, FACS, with input from founder Thomas J. Bombardier, MD, FACS, and George A. Violin, MD, FACS.

While ASCOA is based out of Hanover, Mass., it has partnerships with both single specialty and multispecialty centers in 17 states. The majority of its centers are physician-owned without a hospital partner, with ASCOA investing at 30 percent as a minority partner and physicians owning the remaining 70 percent of the center. ASCOA's traditional model also includes a management contract; it does not manage centers it does not own.
 
ASCOA also has a small number of hospital joint ventures, in which partnerships are available for both hospital-associated and non-hospital physicians. In its joint venture partnerships, ASCOA and the hospital typically own both 25 percent of the center, with physicians owning the other 50 percent. The company has developed more than 65 ASCs across the country.

2. ASD Management (Los Angeles and Dallas, Texas). ASD Management is run by managing partners Joe Zasa and Bob Zasa. The company is known for its top level management's closely involvement with its centers. While headquartered in Dallas and Los Angeles, ASD has ownership and provides services to centers in nearly 25 different states. The company currently has ownership or provides management services to nearly 30 centers.

In a typical situation, the company provides services to hospital-physician joint venture ASCs.  ASD usually owns a relatively small percentage of the center and provides management services. The majority of its centers are multispecialty, but ASD has also worked closely with pediatric-driven centers and plastic surgery centers. The company also works to help single specialty centers expand to multispecialty. ASD Management is privately held and funded.
 
3. Meridian Surgical Partners (Brentwood, Tenn.). John C. Wilson, Jr., is the CEO of Meridian Surgical Partners and Kenneth N. Hancock serves as president and chief development officer. Catherine W. Kowalski, RN, is an executive vice president and COO.  Jim L. Uden is an executive vice president and CFO of the company. The company specializes in the acquisition, development and management of multispecialty and spine-driven ambulatory surgery centers.

Typically Meridian is a majority partner of its acquired facilities and takes a minority stake in development partnerships, to properly align objectives. All of Meridian’s centers are physician-owned, with the exception of the recent addition of a hospital partner, Bronson Battle Creek, who now owns a minority share in Brookside Surgery Center in Battle Creek, Michigan. Meridian owns and operates over a dozen centers in 11 states. PEAK, which stands for performance, efficiency, achievement and knowledge, is the company’s approach for bringing value to physician partners to reach the highest level of success.  

 4. Physicians Endoscopy (Jamison, Pa.). Physicians Endoscopy focuses solely on gastroenterology and endoscopy-driven ambulatory surgery centers. It has approximately 25 centers and owns a minority interest, often 30 to 40 percent, of its centers. PE also provides management and billing services.  
 
Barry Tanner serves as the company's CEO and Frank Principati as COO. Over the last several years, John Poisson has served as chief development officer. Karen Sablyak, CPA, CFO, and Mr. Tanner co-authored the company's business plan. PE owns and manages 30 centers in a variety of states.
 
In September 2013, Pamlico Capital made a significant investment in the company, which is expected to help Physicians Endoscopy expand its centers and gastroenterology product offerings. Shortly after Pamlico made the initial investment, Silver Oak Service Partners sold Pamlico its equity interest. Silver Oak has been one of PE's largest investors since 2008 and was responsible for helping PE double its centers. PE is widely regarded as a well-run company and focused operator.

5. Regent Surgical Health (Westchester, Ill.). Regent Surgical Health's executive team includes Thomas Mallon, CEO; W. Michael Karnes, CFO and Co-founder; Nap Gary, COO and Jeffrey Simmons, CDO. Its leadership also includes two Cambridge, Mass.-based Harvard Business School graduates and president of the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association board of directors.
 
Most of Regent Surgical Health's centers are multispecialty, and about half of the centers are affiliated with one of 14 hospital partners. The company's core management model includes 20 percent ownership and a management contract.
 
While Regent Surgical Health is headquartered in Westchester, Ill., it manages 21 ASCs in the U.S. and in Ireland. In the U.S., the company has centers in Alaska, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon and Wyoming.

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