I was speaking with an optometrist just the other day explaining our ‘consolidation strategy’ for practices. Our program is a direct answer to the private equity offerings in the eye care market but this time the outcome is an eye care corporation, wholly-owned by the local doctors who created it. The doctor’s eyebrows went up and he asked for more.
It’s relatively simple and I have been privileged to have been involved when this same sea-change was occurring in primary medicine 20 years ago. The process starts with a desire to build the pre-eminent provider of eye care in your community. Secret… you can’t do it alone. This is a team effort with each member of the team bringing something unique to the table. Instead of the solo approach, gather a few of your local colleagues, doctors who care about the impact they have on their patients and who are also interested in combining forces to create a professional patient care organization. Don’t forget to invite a few MD’s to the table as well, because the winning formula ALWAYS includes an OD/MD partnership.
Once you have your interested parties, The Growth Cooperative representatives will come to your fair city and host a dinner with you and your interested colleagues to explain our consolidation program. Be prepared for a long evening. This is exciting stuff. Some of those present will continue to be interested and be a part of the continuing process. Some will not. The group members who seek to continue will sign individual agreements with The Growth Cooperative (management service agreement, and of course, become participants in The Growth Cooperative) and with those agreements signed, the consolidation process can begin.
Our work to assist individual practice owners to merge together to form a high-quality eye care corporation is based on several principles:
- The industry is weakened by the majority of practices being small (less than three doctors in a practice). These practices are unfortunately at the whim of vendors and insurers alike and without the bandwidth and necessary capital to invest in the latest in patient care equipment and other technologies. This weakens our healthcare delivery system and by strengthening our practices, we aim to strengthen the quality of the eye care system across the US – one city at a time.
- We believe that doctors should own their own practices, especially those whose practice is a means of fulfilling a career in healthcare service to others. If eye care is a job, your options for practicing are quite vast. If eye care is your vocation, your calling, you will seek to direct the sails of that ship to not only provide care, but to provide your special brand of caring. Partners will strengthen that vocation. Outside owners will diminish it.
- We believe that MDs and ODs working together is the winning formula for patients and patient care is always our top three goals. Secondarily, we believe the MD/OD partnership is also good for each practitioner, providing a depth of service and experience not available when practicing without the other.
The Growth Cooperative seeks to be your business support in this exciting venture – not a partner, not an owner. You are the driver; we’d like to think of ourselves as the gas.
As you might imagine, there are many, many details involved and that is why we want to start the process by breaking bread; having a meal. Allowing a relaxed atmosphere to consider the possibilities. To speak freely and openly. To have your questions answered but also to have your dreams awakened, poked and prodded, just enough to get you looking to the future.
Consider the possibilities. Invite us to dinner.