Surgical Management Professionals CEO shares 'biggest news' about the company's 2019 strategy

Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Surgical Management Professionals' strategy for 2019 is to expand its footprint across the U.S., providing management, consulting and revenue cycle services to new ASCs, CEO Michael Lipomi told Becker's ASC Review.

The company has plenty of momentum to build upon.

Just over a year ago, SMP partnered with a group of orthopedists to open The Orthopedic Institute of Southern Illinois, and it took over management and revenue cycle services for Peoria (Ill.) Day Surgery Center — which has a recovery care designation to keep patients for up to 72 hours — about three months ago. More recently, SMP opened the Advanced Surgery Center of Central Iowa in Des Moines.

But those are small potatoes compared to the projects SMP has in the works.

"The biggest news is that we've been working with and consulting for Beaumont Health in Michigan — the largest health network in Michigan — and we've been consulting with them for nine months," Mr. Lipomi said.

Beaumont recently announced plans for two large multispecialty ambulatory centers in Michigan — one in Lenox and one in Livonia — and tapped SMP to help develop both. The Southfield, Mich.-based health system also has other surgery centers in the pipeline, with plans to leverage SMP's expertise, according to Mr. Lipomi.

In addition, SMP expects to open its first cardiac surgery center in Modesto, Calif., later this year, after being approached by a group of physicians. Thanks to CMS' decision to approve reimbursement for additional cardiac procedures in outpatient surgery centers, Mr. Lipomi said, "It's become very profitable to do these kind of [cardiac] centers."

As the company tackles these projects, it will rely on its unique position as one of the only physician-founded ASC management companies that's still owned by physicians, Mr. Lipomi said. SMP has more than 30 years of experience developing a strong understanding of the "delicate relationship" between physicians and hospitals, as well as how to create alignment.

The company is now working with 26 entities between the Midwest and West Coast, and 13 involve partnerships between physicians and hospitals.

"We're finding two things: a lot of docs are moving forward with surgery centers, and hospitals are using surgery centers to expand their footprint," Mr. Lipomi said. "Hospitals are coming full-circle, looking for a lower-cost alternative and a way to capture physician loyalty ... so they're opening up surgery centers with docs in [close] proximity to their hospitals. We're just facilitating that [trend]."

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