Thousands of physicians have joined the 3 biggest ASC companies in 2021

The largest ASC companies and physician groups in the U.S. added thousands of physicians in the first half of 2021 and have more acquisitions planned for the back half of the year.

United Surgical Partners International, a Dallas-based company and part of Tenet Healthcare, added 570 physicians in the second quarter and has grown its network by 1,100 physicians since Jan. 1. The company had 317 ASCs and 24 surgical hospitals as of June 30.

USPI is also focused on orthopedics, reporting 120 percent growth in the total joint replacement service line and 21 percent growth in spine for the second quarter.

Optum, part of UnitedHealth Group, reported adding more than 5,000 physicians and clinicians in mid-July, and boasted it was more than halfway to its goal of welcoming 10,000 physicians this year.

Surgical Care Affiliates, an OptumCare company, has more than 250 surgical facilities and 8,500 physicians in its network. Many of the surgical facilities are ASCs focused on orthopedics, and earlier this year SCA welcomed Global 1, a bundled payments convener, to its organization.

Brentwood, Tenn.-based Surgery Partners added 24 percent more new physicians during the first half of the year than the same period last year, according to CEO Eric Evans.

"We continue to see increased demand from new physicians for our short-stay surgical facilities and our targeted physician recruitment approach has focused its efforts on the highest quality physicians," Mr. Evans said during an Aug. 4 earnings call, as transcribed by The Motley Fool. Surgery Partners now has more than 4,000 physicians in its network.

Mr. Evans also said the company has deployed $100 million of capital in 2021 so far and closed on four facility acquisitions in the second quarter, including its first in New York. The company has $200 million in additional acquisitions under letters of intent, with plans to close in the coming months.

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