Healthcare Business News

U.S. Anesthesia Partners adds two groups with more than 700 providers

By Andis Robeznieks
Posted: January 7, 2014 - 2:00 pm ET

Two large anesthesia groups with more than 700 providers have joined U.S. Anesthesia Partners, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based anesthesiology practice-management services company.

Dallas-based Pinnacle Anesthesia, with more than 500 anesthesia providers, and Orlando, Fla.-based JLR Medical Group, with more than 200 anesthesia providers, announced Jan. 6 that they will join U.S. Anesthesia as founding clinical partners.

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U.S. Anesthesia already includes Greater Houston Anesthesiology, a 400-anesthesia provider group, which entered into a partnership agreement with the company and its sponsors, the Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe private equity firm, in December 2012.

The groups will continue to operate under their current name in their local markets, Kristen Bratberg, USAP president and CEO, told Modern Healthcare. The groups will also continue to be led by their existing physicians and local management teams, and their physician partners will gain equity ownership in USAP upon the closing of the transactions.

“Under healthcare reform, hospital systems are looking for more sophisticated services from their anesthesia providers,” Bratberg said in a news release. “By bringing together the nation's top-tier anesthesia practices, supporting them with capital and other resources and allowing them to share best practices, investments in IT and other infrastructure, we position them to provide a higher level of service to their facilities, surgeons and patients.”

As part of the deal with Pinnacle, USAP has entered into an agreement with that group's former practice-management services provider, Dallas-based EmCare, to acquire assets used in support of Pinnacle, according to a news release. In its 2012 agreement with Greater Houston, USAP acquired that group's assets used for practice-management support.

Pinnacle's provider workforce includes 325 physicians, 233 certified registered nurse anesthetists and eight nurse practitioners. JLR has more than 80 doctors (including eight board certified in both anesthesiology and pain medicine) and 135 CRNAs.

“All anesthesia (service) is either personally performed by a physician or provided in the anesthesia care team model in which an anesthesiologist medically directs nurse anesthetists,” Carl Michael, CEO of physician-owned JLR, told Modern Healthcare.

In a news release, Michael said that the arrangement was part of JLR's “aggressive and forward-thinking approach in adapting to healthcare reform.”

“Our hospital partners are growing, and we will be ready to meet their increasing needs,” he added.

Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe is a New York-based private equity firm that has partnerships with some 35 companies and total capital of $20 billion. Partners include Ardent Health Services, CareSpot Express Healthcare, and United Surgical Partners International. It previously owned U.S. Oncology, which was acquired by McKesson Corp. at the end of 2010 for about $2.2 billion.

Follow Andis Robeznieks on Twitter: @MHARobeznieks

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