By Marc Toth, CM&AA
Volume 3 Issue 11 May 24, 2016
We are in the midst of a profound change in the way healthcare is being provided outside of hospitals: the rise of the physician-owned clinic model. The combination of accessibility, payer endorsement (Medicare/Medicaid), medical technology enhancements, and the dramatic success of the ambulatory surgery and urgent care center approach has encouraged a new generation of physician entrepreneurs. In addition, the positive response of patients who consider themselves enlightened consumers has emboldened many physicians to see themselves in a new light, no longer under the shadow of much larger healthcare institutions.
The case of the endovascular office-based lab (OBL) or access center illustrates what is happening, including new opportunities for enterprising vascular surgeons. Significant technology developments, ranging from drug-coated balloons to atherectomy catheters, now enable physicians to safely manage vascular disease in outpatient settings. In fact, preliminary surveys indicate that the risk of infection is lower in outpatient OBLs when compared to inpatient settings. This innovation has led to a proliferation of vascular OBLs across the US. There are currently more than 600 endovascular outpatient clinics operating in the US, with 30 new vascular OBLs opening each month.
The market opportunity is clear and investors, especially private equity groups (PEGs) with billions of dollars in “dry powder,” are taking notice.
Entrepreneurial vascular physicians wanting to avoid the challenges of self-funding their expansion should consider at least two of the possibilities for leveraging their clinics in the current environment:
There are undoubtedly some challenges in the vascular OBL marketplace, including the evolution of reimbursement in the Medicare/Medicaid sphere, but this is a normal part of any disruptive economic environment. According to Arlen Meyer, MD, President of the rapidly growing Society of Physician Entrepreneurs: “Top-down innovation is being replaced by community-based innovation that comes from the trenches, not from academics.” This is certainly an accurate assessment of the post-acute healthcare world - and it is especially true in today’s vascular OBL marketplace.
For more than 20 years Marc has held various leadership positions in start-up companies where his focus and expertise has been on commercializing sophisticated medical devices and positioning the company for strategic buyers. He has also been instrumental in raising B and C rounds of funding from private equity and venture capital groups and providing strategic analysis which led to the successful acquisition of several companies by key partners. During the acquisition process, he has led technology and human resource transition, including executive-level talent development and retention, succession planning, and a European integration. As a Certified Merger and Acquisition Advisor (CM&AA) and a Managing Director at VERTESS, Marc focused on medical device and healthcare IT trends and ingenious value building strategies for healthcare leaders.