Doctors are baby boomers too. And like their peers, many of them are looking to retire one day soon.
Meanwhile, increased regulations and the Affordable Care Act are driving a wave of consolidation among physician practices, as doctor-owners choose either to combine into larger groups with more resources to handle back-end management, or sell to hospitals.
Those are the factors driving the creation of Healthcare MarketMaker, a startup founded last fall by Nashville health care industry veteran Tony Corley. The company aims to offer services similar to Trulia or Zillow ( now one in the same) to help doctors understand where their practice falls in comparison to their peers and how they can get the best deal.
Corley, who’s worked for HCA, Ernst and Young, and other companies with an eye toward health care transactions, said he’s long been aware of the “asymmetric resources” available when doctors are looking to sell.
Sitting on the acquiring side of the table throughout his career, Corley said, he’d be “well-resourced” and prepared to take on 10 deals in a year. Doctors, on the other hand, may do one in a lifetime.
Healthcare MarketMaker, one of 10 companies in Jumpstart Foundry’s current cohort, aims to even out those resources by giving doctors both a way to judge their practice’s value and to network with other physicians in similar situations. The company will offer its services through a “freemium” model for doctors — most tools are free, but doctors can pay for additional resources — and will also charge vendors who want to connect with the platform’s users.
It’s the right time to build this company, Corley said, because “there’s heavy churn” in the private practice marketplace. But if this phase turns out to be cyclical, the scorecard function within the Healthcare MarketMaker’s platform will still be useful to doctors looking to evaluate how well their practice is doing and how it might be able to do better.
The platform is in testing right now with chiropractors, the first segment of the industry Corley plans to attack. After that, he’ll focus on other specialties more likely to sell to each other than to hospitals, like dermatologists and other similar groups.