Alejandro Fernandez, CEO of Synergy Orthopedic Specialists in San Diego, recently spoke with Becker's to discuss the ASC consolidation trends he is monitoring.
Editor's note: This interview was edited lightly for brevity and clarity.
Question: What ASC consolidation trends are you watching?
Alejandro Fernandez: Despite the increased interest rates and inflation, private equity-backed medical groups and other consolidators have an optimistic outlook about opportunities in the next 12 months. Specialties like gastroenterology, orthopedics, ophthalmology, ENT and others that derive significant earnings from their ASC operations are prime targets for acquisition and consolidation. Due diligence continues to be a focus area to ensure value creation exists and reduce risks for all. In a competitive landscape where consolidators are competing for acquisitions, those who can provide value by creating growth opportunities, income repair with ancillaries, efficiency in operations and improving market rate payer contracts will win in the long run. Multiples of EBITDA can only get you so far.
Q: What healthcare trends are you wary of?
AF: In general, I believe that the healthcare business will continue to be strong given the supply and demand in the market. The trends that keep me up at night are Medicare and payers continuing to squeeze physician reimbursements; shortages of physicians and professional staff; increased costs in both wages and cost of goods; and cyber threats to our infrastructure and electronic patient records.