Physician practices were the most common targets for investors in January as buyers anticipate a rebound in patient volumes as COVID-19 cases decline, according to a Feb. 22 report from Bloomberg Law.
KPMG compiled the report for Bloomberg, detailing the terms of 258 overall healthcare transactions last month. There were 45 sales involving physician practices.
Notable acquisitions include:
1. ProMedica Central Physicians in Toledo, Ohio, purchased Toledo Orthopaedic Surgeons.
2. Vision Innovation Partners in Annapolis, Md., purchased Eyes of York (Pa.).
3. Gastro Health in Miami, Fla., purchased Woodbridge, Va.-based Associates in Gastroenterology.
4. GI Alliance in Dallas purchased Digestive Health Associates of Texas in Dallas.
5. ENT Partners in Saint Louis Park, Minn., purchased Arlington ENT – Head & Neck and Facial Plastic Surgery in Arlington Heights, Ill.
ASC administrators anecdotally are seeing more consolidation and preparing for more partnerships if not full sales of the center.
"We are seeing a lot of mergers among physician groups and consolidation within medical communities," Todd Currier, administrator of Northern Wyoming Surgical Center, told Becker's. "This strength will help the industry grow exponentially as the push for outpatient care continues to grow and be desired by patients and payers alike. Those ASCs that are able to develop and coordinate service lines will thrive into the future."
There is still room for large physician groups to remain independent as well, according to Robert S. Bray Jr., MD, founder of Newport Beach, Calif.-based Disc Sports & Spine Center.
"I believe that, with the dedication to the obviously challenging task of running a complex ASC, the independent structure can still lead the way in innovation and standard-setting," he told Becker's. "It has certainly created an incredibly satisfying and rewarding environment for the physicians while helping us develop outstanding relations with the payers and patients."
Vincent Hayes, COO of Bradenton-based Florida Digestive Health Specialists, also reported benefits of independent practice during the pandemic. His group grew from 23 to 80 providers in 10 years before the pandemic and was able to adjust quickly when COVID-19 hit.
"Our teams selected and launched a new telemedicine system in one weekend. And while other health systems cut physician salaries, we onboarded seven new gastroenterologists and opened two new clinics," he told Becker's. "We're able to keep operational costs low, streamline administration tasks and use our large market share to negotiate better reimbursement rates. Our patients also benefit from improved access and continuity of care."
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The state of ASCs in California — 'Increasing cooperation rather than competition'
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