About two weeks ago, a press release was sent out to publicize the “roll-up” of our industries’ two largest wound center management companies. Now that National Healing and Diversified Clinical Services have taken the wraps off of their much rumored merger, the million dollar question is, what does this mean for your hospital? Between the two companies, there will be well over 300 centers to manage. Which company is going to lead at this dance? What happens to competitive centers across the street? Will there be conflicts of interest regarding non-compete clauses? Will the same team you have worked with still be there? Will the quality still be there?
I think the first answer to all of this is that both companies are excellent organizations. I am proud to work in the industry with both groups, however, I believe that the approach Wound Care Advantage offers is a better option for most hospitals. ( I will limit myself to one shameless plug!) Due to the focus both companies have had over several years, I feel the quality of their wound care will not be affected. I do believe that their ability to focus on individual centers may diminish simply based on their size, and that merging two different cultures may pose challenges both for the new company, and for their hospital clients. I have watched several mergers in our industry over the last ten years, and the largest issue has always seemed to be team integration. It will be interesting to watch and learn how the management of this new Goliath navigates those difficult waters.
Non-compete clauses may be an issue. If your competition across the street is suddenly operated by the same company as your center, does it pose a conflict of interest, or at the very least call for a review of your contract? I feel it could be a conflict and most likely would call for a contract review. If the changes pose any issues, it may be worth looking at other options in the industry. (I already used my one shameless plug)
When I first started in this industry, I remember when Curative, a company that I think can safely be identified as the Grandfather of Wound Care Centers, hit over 100 programs. That was amazing. For a company to now be managing more than three times that number, I find it difficult to get my head around it.
I wish the New National Healing / Diversified Clinical Services organization nothing but the best, and look forward to seeing how this giant roll-up will positively impact wound care as a whole. I also find myself incredibly happy to be part of a focused and experienced small company in our industry right now. As my dad said; “Bigger isn’t better, better is better”.
Our job continues to get better as they get bigger.