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Mississippi Sports Medicine, our journey to private equity

Monday, October 5, 2020   (0 Comments)
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Thank you for allowing me to write this story of how a group of orthopedic surgeons with a prideful 35-year history made the decision to partner with private equity.  A number of circumstances went into consideration, but first I think it would help to talk about the history of Mississippi Sports Medicine. 

The group was founded in 1984 by three surgeons with a mission to provide sub-specialized orthopedic care with an emphasis on serving athletes all over the state of Mississippi.  A first of its kind model in Mississippi at the time and one of the earliest in the country as well.  As the practice grew over the years, it continued to be a company of firsts.  The physician owners of the group seemed to always be on the front end of regional and national trends, not only in clinical care, research, and fellow training but also physician leadership.  As a CEO, physicians willing to provide that leadership to the practice are very welcomed, but as my colleagues I’m sure can attest these physicians willing to lead are often  difficult to find.  As the years passed the group has successfully grown and adapted to meet the demands on our market but has also, over time, started the process of true vertical integration such as adding radiology, rehabilitation and sports performance, pharmacy, urgent care and ambulatory surgery.  It is this successful integration that would be the beginning of our journey to private equity. 

When I joined the group in 2015, the group was well positioned for continued growth.  The retiring CEO had been here for over 25 years and did an outstanding job in meeting the needs of the group and the market.  After joining the group and spending time assessing the opportunities that are now available in the orthopedic sector, it was clear the group wanted to continue to grow.  This led us to expanding our footprint and building an 8 OR state-of-the-art surgery center which opened mid-2019.  With the ultra-modern ASC facility, 3 physical therapy locations, 2 MRI’s, a CT scanner, 2 sports performance centers, and 2 national acclaimed fellowship programs, one in sports and one in adult reconstruction, we felt like we had so much to add to help others in the space.  Thus, enters the private equity consideration. 

Private equity was the right fit for our practice, but the decision was far from easy.  Our company has a deep history and our fear like most is that private equity would lead to decreased autonomy of the physician owners.  So, for us, why was private equity worth exploring?

  1. The orthopedic sector looked to be consolidating- We saw the beginnings of this out west and up north and although no immediate sign in the southeast was obvious, the signs pointed to the inevitable.As our history has proven, we wanted to control our own consolidation, lead the way, and not later be forced into something less optimal.
  2. Are other consolidations available? We looked at 3 options: health system consolidation, the old clinic-without-borders consolidation model, and private equity.Private equity was the only option that allowed for a monetization of the practice and the opportunity through an equity model to invest in ourselves, so this was the right choice for us.
  3. Is the timing right for private equity?In our opinion, the timing is perfect.We feel there is a 7-10-year runway in front of us that is well positioned for growth.This growth is being aided by factors like aging population and a payor friendly shift towards outpatient ASC’s including CMS.

As our group was aligned on the answers to those questions, it was just a matter of putting it together.  If you believe consolidation is coming or that things will change, and you also believe there is significant growth opportunity in front of you then why wouldn’t you strongly consider monetizing  the value of your practice and make the investment into yourself and with other like-minded physicians through the equity that is part of the private equity offering.    

The decision to move forward with a private equity partnership was the first step.  We spent six additional months working through the other major concerns we had around clinical governance and the structure of the model moving forward.  We explored a relationship with three different private equity partners before deciding on the right partner for us, a partner that was willing to move away from the “old private equity” model and one that was physician driven, physician managed, and  non-disruptive to the practice.  This means no name change, no tax id number change, no mandated health record or practice management system changes, and the like.  This ideal became the model for our new platform, US Orthopedic Partners. 

So here we are in 2020, we all can agree it has been one heck of a year.  A year filled with change and uncertainty to say the least.  We sit staring straight at a presidential election that could result in monumental changes to our health care system and our tax structure as we know it.  I cannot say that we would not have been just fine without private equity, but I can say without hesitation that I look forward to what the future holds with our new private equity relationship.  We believe moving forward together in a large scalable model will help us all navigate through these uncertain times. 

If you would like additional information on our private equity model please feel free to contact me, my cell phone is 601-951-9979 or you can email me at Gsilverman@us-orthopartners.com or visit our website at www.us-orthopartners.com.

 

About the Author

Glen M. Silverman is the CEO of the newly formed orthopedic private equity platform US Orthopedic Partners and current CEO of Mississippi Sports Medicine in Jackson MS.  Having devoting the last 27 years of his career in the health care leadership space both in the for-profit hospital sector and in the private physician practice sector, Silverman has wide ranging industry experience and knowledge of both hospital operations, finance, and extensive experience in private practice orthopedics. Glen has spent most of his career focused on improving efficiency, accountability, productivity, and profitability.

Among Glen's accomplishments, he has become known as a turnaround specialist often finding himself in positions requiring culture change, physician re-alignment and strategic planning.  Silverman has built his career with simple but effective philosophies; build loyalty at all levels through honesty and integrity, manage objectively using data to guide decision making, encourage, challenge, support, and empower people, for they are your greatest assets. Glen's track record of success has been facilitated by his ability to lead and influence positive transformational change while adding value.

Glen, originally from Howell, New Jersey, has called the Jackson metro area home since 2004.  Glen and his wife Sharon have five children ranging from eight to twenty-eight.  When not at work Glen can be found on the golf course, at the gym, or with his family. Additionally, Glen serves on multiple boards in and around the Jackson metro area.


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