Partnership needs to be a cultural fit
When it comes to money, chances are that offers from different private equity groups are not going to be widely disparate. They may differ somewhat but not to a level that will affect your day-to-day experience as you go forward with your practice. Assuming that those numbers are comparable, what really affects things is culture. Are the priorities the same? Is the breadth of practice the same? Is it going to be completely integrated, or is it going to be separate entities that are just under the same umbrella? What does the employment contract look like?
There are a lot of details that you need to consider. Your private equity partner may have preferences on how much uniformity there is between practices. They may want you to work and interact with similar companies. Finding the right fit is the key element.
When we went through our partnership with private equity more than 3 years ago, our practice was used as a platform to create our organization, Eye Health America. It was reassuring knowing that we would be setting the group’s culture moving forward. However, even in that circumstance, we wanted to be sure that the private equity group had the same vision as we did. We wanted to see the same values, the same attitude toward health care and the same attitude toward future consolidation.
Since joining our private equity group, we still look for that same cultural fit when we partner with other practices. As we create a larger organization, we want to ensure everyone’s vision of ophthalmic health care delivery is in alignment.
Cathleen M. McCabe, MD, is medical director at The Eye Associates in Florida.