CRH Medical Corporation
CRH has spent years servicing the GI community through the CRH O’Regan System, a platform that provides GI’s with a turn-key business for the treatment of hemorrhoids. With that background, we were interested in what other innovative solutions we could bring our partners. Through consultation with key opinion leaders, and a comprehensive analysis of the GI market, we determined that anesthesia services was an ideal fit for our corporate strategy. We entered into the anesthesia services business in December 2014 with the acquisition of one of the largest providers of anesthesia services to gastroenterologists in the U.S.
The end of 2015 marked our first full year of our new anesthesia services line of business, and we were encouraged to have experienced substantial growth as we engaged both existing and new GI partners.
Anesthesia services for endoscopic procedures is a large and growing market. The use of anesthesia during these procedures (as opposed to moderate sedation), has several advantages for both the patient, physician, and the ambulatory surgery center. As part of the effort to increase preventative healthcare in the U.S., the use of anesthesia during endoscopic procedures has grown from roughly 15% in 2003 to over 50% in 2015.
One of the most common endoscopic procedures is colonoscopy, which is considered the gold standard for colorectal cancer screening and detection and the mainstay of most GI practices. Major initiatives in the US, such as 80% by 2018 aim to increase the number of adults over 50 who are regularly screened for colorectal cancer, leading to an increasing number of procedures performed nationwide. CRH is now at the forefront by providing high quality anesthesia services for both colonoscopies and other endoscopic procedures.
Our model of partnering with GI practices and acquiring all or majority control in their anesthesia business has proven successful. CRH Medical’s solid reputation in the GI community makes a partnership in anesthesia a natural progression for a GI practice. We will continue to leverage the trust and goodwill we have developed over the past several years to consolidate the GI anesthesia services space. Our ability to expand this footprint is greatly aided by the competitive advantage we have built through our long history as a trusted partner to GI’s.
It is becoming increasingly apparent that our CRH O’Regan trained GI’s represent a natural conduit for engagement, and ultimately acquisition growth for our anesthesia services business. This is reinforced by the fact that the majority of the anesthesia acquisitions completed to date, have with existing O’Regan customers.
Ensuring our existing operations perform efficiently and that our physician partners receive a high level of service is key to maintaining strong relationships and a sustainable business. Our pipeline of practices showing an interest in partnering with CRH continues to grow, and our willingness to find a structure that works for all parties has resonated with the GI community.
We believe we are emerging as a leading service provider of anesthesia services within the GI community. Our mandate is to continue to grow in a sustainable and accretive way and we will keep all of our stakeholders informed as we progress with our strategy.