'We've been winning a lot of deals this year': Stryker CEO on ASCs, robots and the future

Stryker CEO Kevin Lobo said the company is very well positioned in the ASC industry during his presentation at the Morgan Stanley 18th Annual Virtual Global Healthcare Conference on Sept. 15.

"We've been winning a lot of deals this year; we created a dedicated team to act as a quarterback for all surgery center deals so you can see there are a large number of procedures done in surgery centers," he said, as transcribed by Seeking Alpha. "The shift to the surgery center started prior to the pandemic and it will only accelerate with the pandemic. We believe we're very, very well positioned with strength across product categories as well as human capital equipment, disposable and implants."

He said the company installed its 1,000th Mako robot for joint replacement procedures. The company has sold Mako robots in 28 countries and Mr. Lobo anticipates continued growth for both hospitals and surgery centers.

"We are really optimistic and bullish, and [Mako] exceeded our expectations," he said. "We actually felt there was going to be a slowdown, which didn't materialize; part of that has been the flexibility of our model and part of it has been the surgery centers. We are winning a lot of surgery centers and I think that has been a shift and acceleration in the trend that was already occurring. The fact that they want Makos in their surgery centers and the fact that you don't have lots of instrument trays with Mako…actually plays well for the surgery center and we can wrap it with our other products and disposables."

Mr. Lobo also touched on the accelerated transition of orthopedics from the hospital to the ASC. He said the move has been driven by reimbursement trends over the past two years as well as the pandemic since more patients feel safe in the outpatient surgery center where there are no COVID-19 patients.

"Every hospital executive — guys that I talked to — is thinking about surgery centers and where the next surgery center is going to be," he said. "So, I think that trend will absolutely accelerate."

He also addressed acquisitions during the event, saying the company expects to close the Wright Medical deal in October. Stryker also will likely do a few more tuck-in acquisitions, but not in the volume or size as it has in previous years.

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