Gastroenterologist Dr. Michael Owens did a thought experiment during the pandemic period. He asked himself, what would I do with my time if I’m not doing as many colonoscopies?
That question led him to leave his large GI group to start up a multi-specialty GI group that takes advantage of the trends shaping the future of GI. For example, trends such as value based care, the microbiome, AI, colonics, single-use devices, genomic tests, liquid biopsy and so on. As he implies, Mike literally implemented the central premise of the book Scope Forward to build future on his own terms. He stands as a great example for GI 2.0.
We often limit our choices to what’s prevalent in the market. Join a hospital. Join PE. Merge with a large independent group. Kudos to Mike and his partners at Pearl Health Partners for having the courage to go against the grain and take a different, innovative approach.
He says in the interview: if not now then when?
◘ Backstory on how he got started
◘ “I think the Northwest has been somewhat excluded from a lot of the M&A and a lot of the PE involvement, but it’s happening”
◘ The larger the organizations, greater the complexity
◘ “Seeing what was happening in the surrounding states with PE and not knowing where that was headed, the desire to take control of your own situation sometimes kind of bubbles up”
◘ “We’re watching Cologuard and we’re watching a lot of the world shift”
◘ “I felt like there were more opportunities here to look outside. What would I do with my time if I’m not doing as many colonoscopies?”
◘ Why did Pearl Health Partners choose the multi-specialty route?
◘ “We are able to bring in investors at a pretty low EBITDA”
◘ Is the multi-specialty model better than a single specialty GI model?
◘ “We don’t have a group of 60 doctors with 3 committees taking 6 months to pick which prep we use”
◘ “I think we have a lot of incentive to not do fewer colonoscopies out there”
◘ What changes will private practices or GI as a space see in the next 5 years?
◘ “AI is going to be just sorting a lot of the complexity for us”