Category: Healthcare Technology

13 Dec 2018

Private equity in gastroenterology: A train that’s left the station

Well, they are calling it the golden age of rectums! The trends are simple and straightforward.

First, baby boomers and beyond are aging and staying alive longer. The gut, a hidden culprit in many ailments, requires continuous maintenance. Colonoscopies. EGDs. Things that require services of gastroenterologists who are always in short supply (14,000 in the US).

Second, gastroenterology (GI) practices are fragmented like hotels were before Hilton. Regulatory, technological, insurance complexities are weighing GI doctors down. Frustrated with the burden of running practices, many doctors join hospitals. And discover that it’s difficult to survive under the thumbs of demanding hospital administrators.

Third, there’s plenty of new money in private equity ($453 billion in 2017). Healthcare, one of the biggest problems of our times, is attracting PE interest, albeit quietly. Unlike earlier decades when IPOs were the main forms of exits, PE companies can now find exits by selling rolled up portfolios to larger PE firms. Plus, PE firms follow each other around.

Fourth, specialties such as gastroenterology can indeed improve revenues by streamlining billing, negotiating insurance contracts, adding ancillary services, and building a strong management team. All of these are possible with consolidation and investments. Given that physician partners don’t usually align, a third-party facilitator such as PE firm would find it easy to disrupt and consolidate.

The question really isn’t about whether PE involvement would be right for gastroenterology or medicine as a whole.

It’s too late in the day to ask that question. The train has already left the station.

Consider these announcements.

  1. In 2016, Audax Group made major investments in both Urology and Gastroenterology.
  2. In 2017, KKR bought Covenant Surgical Partners from DFW Capital
  3. In 2017, Warbus Pincus bought CityMD, an urgent care chain
  4. In 2017, Harvest Partners bought Katzen Eye Group from Varsity Health Partners
  5. In 2016, ABRY Partners invested in US Dermatology Partners
  6. In 2017, Varsity invested in The Orthopedic Institute
  7. In 2016, Sverica Capital acquired RMS Healthcare Management, a primary care provider
  8. In 2017, New Mainstream Capital acquired Cordental Group, a dental chain


The article lists more deals in behavioral health, hospice, women’s health, ER and so on.

Resources:

Given my company’s business, I’m particularly plugged into gastroenterology. At a recent GI conference, we noticed that one of the newly consolidated super groups even had a booth. I met physician-owners who were exhibiting at the conference so that they could court other doctors and eventually buy them out.

What was more interesting is that they were looking for sophisticated technology solutions. And were considering experimenting with computer vision to detect polyps (finding polyps is something that GI doctors routinely do via colonoscopy).

Read: Artificial Intelligence-Assisted Polyp Detection for Colonoscopy: Initial Experience

Naturally, I wondered what it’s like for a doctor to work in a PE-run organization versus a hospital. Like with any large organization, the super groups were run by small boards and a CEO. Firm decisions were made by the board. A larger (“rubber stamp”) board passed the rules further down. These decisions were rolled out to the army of doctors across the organization.

Someone I chatted with said, “The pros were that they had better insurance contracts.” And cons, I asked quickly? He shrugged, “Well, they will eventually get their way!”

Plenty of mid-sized GI groups I spoke to were still wondering what to do. Expand by merging with other groups? Sell-out to a hospital? Be found by a PE firm that’s eager to consolidate? Wait and watch?

I found examples under all models.

A group we work with has been consolidating regionally by acquiring solo and other mid-sized GI groups. A potential client whom we never got around to working with sold out to the local hospital that wanted to create a “state of the art” gastroenterology department. Some others entertained PE conversations across several GI groups only to discover in the end that all talks collapsed. Because the partners wouldn’t see eye to eye. Many others were watching from the side lines.

If you amplify these signals, you’ll surely hear the songs of consolidation.

It’s warming up. The ice is melting. A little quickly now. New rules are forming. No one knows what exactly those rules are. But they are forming anyways. And when they form, the lake will start freezing. Again. To stay frozen for a long time.

Resources:

1) Provident Perspectives: Private Equity Investment in Gastroenterology

2) How to look at private equity investment in physician groups: Gastroenterology

3) Hot physician specialties for private equity investment

4) Physician and Private Equity Partnership: Goal is to Create Larger, More Robust Platform for Delivery of Care

5) Where Health and Investment Collide: Health Care Private Equity Trends to Watch in 2018

6) Medical practices have become a hot investment — are profits being put ahead of patients?

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Originally published on LinkedIn,  by Praveen Suthrum, President & Co-Founder, NextServices. 

27 Sep 2018

NextServices to Showcase The Gastro Suite at the American College of Gastroenterology 2018

The Gastro Suite is an all-in-one software and services platform for gastroenterologists. It combines gastroenterology billing, coding, EHR, endoscopy report writer and MACRA consulting.
– Ann Arbor, MICH. (PRWEB) September 26, 2018

NextServices will be showcasing The Gastro Suite at the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) 2018. The Gastro Suite is a state-of-the-art platform that comprehensively addresses administrative, technological and compliance challenges of gastroenterology groups.

“Unpredictable income. Old software. Endless mandates. Rising costs. Gastroenterologists are running faster than ever to stay in the same place. It’s time to think differently,” said Praveen Suthrum, President and Cofounder, NextServices. He added, “Through a unified software and services platform, The Gastro Suite makes these problems go away.”

The Gastro Suite integrates:

GI billing/revenue cycle management: Improve efficiency and revenues through end-to-end revenue cycle management. Services includes credentialing, authorizations, payor setups, surgery center, practice and hospital claims submission, denial management, insurance and AR management. Cloud-based practice management software included as needed.

GI coding: Protect from audit risks, bill more accurately and save coding expenses. Certified coders streamline E&M and procedure coding on an ongoing basis.

enki EHR: Certified, cloud-based gastroenterology EHR that is refreshing and remarkably easy to use.

enki Endoscopy Report Writer: GIQuIC certified, cloud-based endoscopy report writer that saves time and money. Includes free future upgrades.

All enki software products come with a 60-day money back guarantee.

MACRA consulting: MACRA/MIPS advisory services that include compliance training, tracking, unlimited support and data submission to registries to avoid negative payment adjustments.

“We’ve seen the gastroenterology landscape change over the last 14 years. Reimbursements have dropped. Costs have risen. And there’s increased regulation to deal with,” said Satish Malnaik, CEO and Cofounder, NextServices. He added, “Partner with us to not just navigate but thrive in this uncertain environment.”

Attendees can learn more about The Gastro Suite at ACG 2018 during October 7-9th, 2018 in Philadelphia, PA. NextServices will be exhibiting at booth #511.

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About NextServices

NextServices provides cloud based billing and software platform that gastroenterology practices need to thrive in an environment of tougher reimbursements, high operating costs and increased regulation. Our solutions include – billing and coding services, enki EHR platform, enki Endoscopy Report Writer and MACRA/MIPS consulting. For more information contact (734) 677 7730 or visit the company’s website at http://www.nextservices.com.

About American College of Gastroenterology (ACG)

The American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) is a recognized leader in educating GI professionals and the general public about digestive disorders. Our mission is to advance world-class care for patients with gastrointestinal disorders through excellence, innovation and advocacy in the areas of scientific investigation, education, prevention, and treatment. To learn more about ACG, visit http://gi.org.

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21 Dec 2016

Healthcare Technology Articles: Recap of 2016. Insights for 2017.

blog_healthindustrytechnology

Here are the most interesting healthcare technology articles from 2016 along with trends to watch out for during 2017 and beyond.

1. Visualizing 77 Million Doctor Visits In America over The Past Year – Sohan Murthy, Amino

2. Telemedicine Is Now Medicine – by Daniel Barchi

3. Smart Hospitals Need to be Secured – by Matthew Rosenquist

4. Cybersecurity: What 2016 taught the healthcare industry – by Marla Durben Hirsch, Fierce Healthcare

5. [Video]: Delivering Medical Supplies Using Drones Is Now A Reality – by Zipline

6. 7 (plus 1) Predictions For Healthcare IT In 2017 – by Paddy Padmanabhan, CIO Magazine

7. Healthcare to rollout Blockchain faster than other industries in 2017, says Deloitte – by Mike Miliard, Healthcare IT News

8. How To Spur Innovation In Healthcare – by Praveen Suthrum, Cofounder and President, NextServices

9. The Future Of Tech: 16 Trends For 2017 Through 2022 – Health Data Management

10. 27 Hot Health Techs To Watch In 2017 – by Mike Miliard, Healthcare IT News

11. The Most Exciting Medical Technologies of 2017 – Dr. Bertalan Mesko, The Medical Futurist

12. How To Create Healthcare Apps That People Love – by Praveen Suthrum, Cofounder and President, NextServices

 

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