Why investors are eyeing these 3 specialties

Investors are keeping their eye on gastroenterology, cardiology and orthopedics, according to McDermott Health's "2023 Physician Practice Management" report.

According to the McDermott Health report, gastroenterology has high utilization of evaluation and management codes, which increased for 2021. Medicare ASC payments for colonoscopies with lesion removals and colonoscopies and biopsies are expected to increase in 2023, according to VMG Health's "ASCs in 2022: A Year in Review" report. These factors put the specialty in an advantageous spot for growth in 2023. 

Cardiology is the fastest growing ASC specialty, according to Avanza's "2022 Key ASC Benchmarks and Industry Figures" report. As more cardiology procedures get approved to be performed in outpatient settings, the specialty could become more popular among ASCs and investors. 

One private equity firm in particular has taken notice of cardiology's growth potential. In January, Viper Partners announced its plans to open a mergers and acquisitions department specifically focused on deals in the cardiology space. The firm decided to enter the space because of cardiology's low concentration of private equity, aging population, and changes to Medicare and Medicaid rules.

Orthopedic surgeries bring in more revenue than any other specialty nationwide and offer the highest reimbursements to ASCs, according to VMG Health's "Multi-Specialty ASC Benchmarking Study" for 2022. These factors combined with opportunities for value-based care make orthopedics an attractive option for investors.

"I am likely stating the obvious when I say that ASCs with meaningful orthopedic volume stand a much better chance of financial viability and sustainability than those [without]," John Ryan, CEO of OrthoIndy in Indianapolis, told Becker's. "While it is absolutely possible for an ASC to be financially successful without orthopedics, those ASCs with orthopedic procedure volume at or above 25 percent have a far clearer path to navigate the other economic pressures on an ASC's financial health."

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