Earlier this month, we announced the recent merger of SCP and ECI, a former competitor whose structure, footprint, and services are a noticeable balance to ours. The union of our two companies means we are now bigger, better, and stronger – together. “They were considering strategic alternatives, and we emerged as a potential partner,” stated Lee White, SCP Chief Operating Officer. “The bottom line is that the complementary qualities of our companies were extremely apparent – it’s why we joined forces. We’re able to provide an even higher quality of service to our client hospitals and the nearly 8 million patients we now collectively treat.”

Our ECI partners recently authored a blog post detailing the benefits of this new combination. Read more here - Our Merger with Schumacher Clinical Partners: Why Now?

Our Merger with Schumacher Clinical Partners: Why Now?

Why we believe in this merger and its outstanding benefits for our network of clients and provider partners across the country.

by ECI Healthcare Partners Blog Editor

As we recently announced, ECI Healthcare Partners—one of the oldest, largest, privately owned, physician management companies—merged with Schumacher Clinical Partners, effective June 1, 2016.

Understandably, we’ve received a lot of questions about our decision to move forward with the merger. Why Schumacher Clinical Partners? Why, after 44 successful years as an independent, wholly self-directed organization that has a reputation for being a high-quality, physician-focused company—why are we merging?

We’d like to address a few of your most pressing questions and tell you why we’re confident our merger with Schumacher Clinical Partners is beneficial to everyone involved.

Why merge?

The wild and wily healthcare environment.

Healthcare delivery, its financing, its structure—it’s all changed, and it’s continuing to transform. Keeping up with it requires an increasingly large team of talented people.

We face a myriad of challenges. Fee-for-service is being replaced by value-based purchasing. Incentives have been replaced by penalties. The number of patients is rising while the number of physicians is decreasing. Documentation requirements are increasingly complex. Reimbursement is impacted by meaningful use and EMRs, quality measures, patient satisfaction scores, alternative-payment models, Hospital Compare, and—coming soon—Physician Compare.

To help our partner hospitals and partner physicians combat these challenges we’re turning to an offensive tactic that history shows us succeeds: Grow bigger. Get stronger. Join forces. From hospitals and hospital systems to insurers and managed care organizations to staffing and management groups like ours, the lesson is clear: Evolution is critical. And only the strongest will survive. We will gain exceptional strength from this merger.

An expanded network, resource arsenal, and geographic footprint.

ECI Healthcare Partners has long been the strongest where it was born: the Midwest. Hospital Physician Partners, which joined Schumacher last August, built its footprint in the southeast. Schumacher’s core strength has been in the Gulf States and southwest. As three organizations joined now under one umbrella, we will have a formidable foothold in 33 states, and a coast-to-coast, corner-to-corner network of providers.

Together we’ll have nearly 500 programs: emergency medicine, pediatrics, observation care, urgent care, hospitalist, intensivist, SNFist, LTACist, virtual care, and others. We’ll have a roster of almost 8,000 active providers and a supporting staff of more than 1,000 physician executives, recruiters, schedulers, credentialists, coders, billers, and lawyers.
As we join forces, our shared infrastructure, leverage to negotiate and share information with insurers and managed care organizations, and our means to support our partners will significantly increase.

Remarkable access to valuable data.

Perhaps most importantly in this information-driven world, our shared data will expand. By amassing and analyzing our data, we will be able to wring out more waste and overlap, make more informed decisions, and show our value more efficiently and clearly than ever before. We will be able to track trends across a near-nationwide band of programs and respond quickly and with more research at our fingertips.

So. Why Schumacher?

Why in the world would we team up with the new Schumacher Clinical Partners, comprised of the organizations that, for more than 20 years, have been our rivals?

Exactly because of that. As anyone who has worked to win anything knows, the true value of competition isn’t the thrill of winning. It’s what you gain by competing: motivation, determination, creativity, perseverance. You learn from your mistakes. You work harder. As much as it might have pained us to admit it even a year ago, each of us—Schumacher, HPP, and ECI Healthcare Partners—in some small part, made each other better.

Of course, none of that would have mattered if, when we began discussing this merger, we had sat down at the same table and realized we had nothing in common and couldn’t work together. But that didn’t happen. Over the multitude of exchanges we’ve had in the last few months, we’ve talked extensively, and we shared what mattered to us: what we valued in our organizations, and in our people, and what we envisioned for the future. And you know what? They were, surprisingly, a lot like us.

We have the same ideas about patient-centered care. We have the same belief in the vital necessity of physician support. We both understand that hospitals cannot have happy patients unless they first have happy physicians working in a healthy, physician-led practice environment.

We believe in this merger. And we are dedicated to making the transition as easy as possible on everyone involved. Because our guiding principle, the mission that has fueled this organization since 1972, has not changed: We take care of the people who take care of patients. Our name may change, but the fundamental heart of how we work with our providers and how they work with us, will not change.