Health System JV of Hackensack Meridian Health & USPI Partners With NJ ASC

The Bloom Organization, a leading healthcare investment banking firm providing M&A advisory services, is pleased to announce the closing of a new joint-venture (“JV”) partnership between the Vanguard Surgical Center (Maywood, NJ) and a joint-venture comprised of Hackensack Meridian Health (“HMH”) and United Surgical Partners International (“USPI”). 

Opened in 2014, Vanguard Surgical Center (“VSC”) is a state-of-the-art multispecialty facility consisting of three (3) operating rooms and almost 17,000 square feet. VSC has nearly 30 physician partners that specialize in a wide-array of surgical specialties that include, but not limited to, neurosurgery, orthopedics, plastics, and vascular surgery. 

VSC is a predominantly out-of-network (“OON”) outpatient facility. Over recent years insurance carriers have been clamping down on OON benefits thus making it increasingly difficult for providers to bring patients to an OON surgery center. Furthermore, even when a provider is able to perform surgery at the OON ASC, payors frequently underpay the ASC’s claims or refuse to pay altogether. 

Dr. Dante Implicito, a founding partner of VSC, knew that he and his partners needed to pivot to a more sustainable business model. However, Dr. Implicito was aware that marketing an ASC with declining volume due to the limitations on OON benefits would be a difficult and complex process. Therefore, he sought out a firm that would be able to guide VSC through the process and determined that The Bloom Organization would be best suited to achieve their goals through a successful transaction. 

“The healthcare industry is a constantly evolving market and we needed an advisory firm that had both the experience and expertise to guide my 20+ partners and I through a transaction that would satisfy most of our goals.” Dr. Implicito explained. “The Bloom Organization is a known commodity in the healthcare space and had successfully accomplished the goals of numerous physicians whom I had spoken to that were previously in similar situations as Vanguard. The track record of Henry Bloom [Founder & President] and Bob Goettling [Principal] made it an easy and unanimous decision to move forward and engage The Bloom Organization.” 

Once engaged, The Bloom Organization immediately began their diligence to further enhance the marketability of VSC in order to achieve their goals. One such action was the syndication of North Jersey Brain and Spine (“NJBS”), a leading neurosurgery practice whose surgeons were not affiliated with an outpatient surgical facility at the time. By bringing seven (7) NJBS physicians on board, VSC was able to best utilize the center’s additional capacity with profitable commercial surgical cases from these highly-qualified and respected physicians. 

The next challenge for VSC and Bloom was to identify a strategic partner. After going to market and approaching numerous prospective buyers, the joint-venture of USPI/HMH was identified as that partner. In addition to helping VSC become a fully in-network facility with contracts that the surgery center would be unable to attain through negotiations with payors on their own, known as “Rate Lift”, USPI/HMH would also be able to bring additional cases (“Loft”) to VSC that otherwise would have been performed in the hospital setting.

After the strategic partner was identified, the final challenge was to get over the finish line with the chosen partner. A transaction with one buyer tends to be difficult enough, however, dealing with a JV that includes a health system is exponentially more difficult path to navigate through. That challenge was something that The Bloom Organization was more than capable of handling as Dr. Implicito noted following the closing of the deal, “Not only was Bloom able to successfully close the transaction with the buyers’ that were the best fit and most-aligned with our goals, they were able to do it at a valuation that either matched or exceeded the offers we received from other buyers. Vanguard is well positioned to grow and deal with any curveballs the health industry may throw at us for the foreseeable future”. 

The Bloom Organization’s extensive experience and expertise in advising physician-owned practices and surgical centers places them as unparalleled, innovative leaders in the middle-market investment banking firm space nationally. Bloom has completed the sale or merger of numerous healthcare-related entities for thousands of healthcare service providers. 

For more information on The Bloom Organization advisory services on Healthcare M&A and the sale of physician practices, please visit our website or contact one of our Directors at (305) 974-0700.