The state of Covenant Surgical Partners — CEO Lew Little offers 5 insights

Nashville, Tenn.-based Covenant Surgical Partners is in the midst of an acquisition spree. Fueled by private equity money, the physician services organization has acquired several practices this year and has its sights set on more.

Since its 2008 founding, Covenant has made a lasting footprint in the gastroenterology and ophthalmology sectors. Now, in the midst of the dog days of summer, Covenant Surgical Partners CEO Lew Little offered Becker's ASC Review several insights into the company and its future.

Note: Responses were edited for style and clarity.

Question: How would you describe the state of Covenant Surgical Partners?
Lew Little: Founded in 2008, Covenant Surgical Partners is a growing physician services organization that's evolving to meet the changing needs of today's physicians. With roots in the ASC space, we are deepening our partnerships with physicians to encompass ownership of their practices, as well as anesthesia and pathology capabilities.

We're evolving our model because we believe clinicians want a more fully aligned partnership that better positions them for growth and success in today's healthcare landscape. We are honored to be able to partner with high-quality physicians in a meaningful way.

Q: What's in store for the rest of 2019?
LL: We recently completed two of our largest acquisitions to date – De La Peña Eye Clinic in Los Angeles and Arizona Centers for Digestive Health in Phoenix. We are laser-focused on successfully integrating these practices into Covenant as we look for ways to further strengthen our existing relationships. In addition, we have an active business development pipeline and expect to complete at least two more acquisitions by the end of the year.

Q: Projecting three years down the line, what does the company look like to you?
LL: We are big believers in the role that ASCs play in delivering great patient care at a lower cost. Over the next three years, we aim to be more involved in the future of the practices that drive the volume of those ASCs so that we can have more insight into patient care and further strengthen the quality of care patients receive.

Q: What has propelled this recent string of acquisitions?
LL: We were acquired by KKR in October of 2017, and we spent the first 12-15 months strengthening our infrastructure for future growth. We now have the necessary resources in place to execute on our acquisition growth strategy.

In addition, we're seeing that physicians want a new model and deeper partnership. As healthcare grows more complex, so do the needs of our partners. We are fortunate enough to be in a position to offer them the financial, operational and clinical resources they need to thrive in an evolving healthcare landscape.

Q: What would you want to say to a prospective partner about Covenant Surgical Partners?
LL: You will not find a more committed partner to your success than Covenant. We take our commitment to partnering with leading physicians seriously in order to further strengthen, grow and evolve their practices and ASCs for the future. We won't get it perfect every time, but we will give you our best, approach our work with integrity and respect, and work hard to continually gain your trust and confidence.

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