Rich Searles, Partner at Merritt Healthcare Advisors, a sell-side investment bank focused on representing owners of surgical facilities and healthcare practices, shares the trends he is seeing in the ASC landscape today and in the future.
Mr. Searles will share his expertise as a speaker at the Becker's 20th Annual Spine, Orthopedic + Pain Management-Drive ASC Conference, June 15-17, 2023 in Chicago. To learn more and register, click here.
Question: What are the most important trends you're seeing in the ASC field today?
Rich Searles: One of the most important trends that I’m seeing today in the ASC industry, are the joint venture partnerships among Physicians, Hospitals and ASC Management Companies. While they aren’t always the best solution in many specific situation, many times they do provide alignment in a market where focus can shift from competitive market share to joint success of quality patient outcomes at ASCs.
Q: What are the key challenges keeping ASC administrators up at night?
RS: The primary challenge that keep, or should keep, Administrators up at night involves regulatory safety compliance. State/Federal rules and regulation, particularly around patient safety, seem to change daily. As ASC service higher acuity procedures/patients, focus on safety should be the utmost concern. Secondarily, continued issues involving hiring & retaining quality clinical staff remains difficult. Turnover and vacancy rates have increased across the country. This can lead to OR cancellations, lowered utilization throughput, and possibly poor patient outcomes.
Q: Where is the best opportunity for ASCs to thrive in the future? What do they need to do today to set a solid foundation for success?
RS: Continued safe migration of higher acuity procedures to the ASC setting. Innovations in medical equipment and techniques have allowed ASCs to grow in service lines.
Q: How will private equity investment change the physician practice and ASC field?
RS: The emergence of private equity investments in healthcare have provided opportunities for physicians to maintain a level of independence. Private Equity backed platforms have created alternative structures to the traditional 100% Physician Owned, or Full Employment models. Physicians can leverage executive and financial resources of Private Equity investors, while maintaining clinical autonomy over their private practice. As history seems to dictate, as physician practices grow & thrive, so do ASCs.
To learn more about Merritt Healthcare Advisors, click here.