Surgery Partners to focus on value creation in 2018: 5 quotes from CEO Wayne DeVeydt

Surgery Partners CEO Wayne DeVeydt discussed the company's 2017 performance during the quarterly earnings conference call and laid the groundwork for additional physician alignment, recruitment and potential payer partnerships in the future.

Here are five key quotes from the call transcript, as reported in Seeking Alpha.

Growth in the future: "As the last independent ASC [company] with national scale having been built over a 20-year period, we are a strategic and scarce asset in a consolidating market. Moving strategic opportunities for long-term sustainable growth in our core business, outpatient surgical facility, while we are fortunate to have the right assets in the right space, we have several opportunities to improve both our strategy and our execution."

On payer partnerships: "We are fortunate to have a business model that already focuses on our patients while empowering physicians. But aligning with payers which are focusing on improving patient safety by removing excess cost from the healthcare system is critical…it is important to have a thoughtful approach to those payers with whom we chose to partner and to identify locations and models which support both organic and inorganic growth."

On physician alignment: "Increasing the number of physicians that perform procedures in our facilities is an important part of our organic growth engine. To address this opportunity, we've implemented a number of initiatives including, but not limited to, doubling the recruitment team and realigning structure, which will provide broader coverage of our ASCs and additional boots on the ground establishing key relationships with those doctors with whom we want to partner."

Revenue cycle management: "Currently, operational diversity in revenue cycle management has resulted in over 100 different vendor relationships, tools, applications and outsourcing, all which increase cost and complexity implementing standards operating policies and procedures and simplifying our revenue cycle management activities to mitigate collection risk should result in 2019 runrate and margin improvement. This will require a meaningful investment in 2018, but will further enhance our ability to improve our runrate and cash flow, while enabling synergistic value we recognize from future acquisitions sooner."

Key specialty mix: "You'll find much more of a focus around ortho, total joints, spine and pain; things like GI and ophthalmology — I just remind folks that while those aren't our core in terms of our high-dollar focus, they are very much our bread and butter [in] that they generate nice cash flow and they provide the cash flow that allows us to continue doing some of these M&As as we pursue these high dollar, high contribution margin businesses."

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