3 ways private equity firms and ASCs could clash: Q&A with John Prunskis 

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Many ASC leaders feel that physician-owned practices are in danger of conflicting priorities with private equity investment. 

John Prunskis, MD, is an interventional pain specialist and the CMO of DxTx Pain and Spine, a network of affiliate interventional pain and spine practices.

Dr. Prunskis spoke with Becker's ASC Review to give three examples of potential PE-ASC conflict and how DxTx is combating those issues. 

Question: What are examples of conflicts ASCs can face with private equity involvement?

John Prunskis: 

1. Electronic health records: EHRs are extremely problematic, regrettably. They were not intended to be, but it's now the No. 1 source of physician burnout. Most private equity companies will require a practice to change its EHR to the one they're using. With DxTx, we've taken away all of what we have found to be the objections with private equity in our space. We allow members of our consortium, if they choose, to continue with their same EHR. 

2. Staff management: In regard to staff changes, since we're only speaking to high-level practices, our goal is to respect what their practice has done. They can keep their staff, but if they need assistance, we would offer them help in best practices in the hiring process. Some private equity companies take a different approach where it's going to be a top-down management.

3. Treatment approach: There is data to support certain procedures and treatments for certain conditions, sometimes having several ways to achieve a similar result. If it's a  heavy-handed, top-down approach, which often is the case with private equity, and physicians and their patients have determined techniques that have gotten equal or better results than what are being mandated by the private equity company, that would create friction.

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