NEWS

Women's Health USA and Arizona ObGyn Affiliates Announce Joint Venture Partnership

Largest OBGYN practice in Arizona Initiates New Growth Plan

Avon, Connecticut, October 11, 2018 - Women’s Health USA, a healthcare and management services organization, recently expanded its business relationship with Arizona ObGyn Affiliates (AOA). The two entities initially came together contractually two years ago in the interest of business and revenue cycle support. Based on successes there and on changes in Women’s Health USA’s offerings, the timing was right to explore a deeper arrangement.

Dr. Michael Urig, FACOG, who serves as Chairman of AOA, spoke enthusiastically about the partnership expansion and the potential it brings for AOA’s future success. “We look forward to our ongoing partnership with Women’s Health USA in order to continue delivering great and affordable care to our patients along with keeping our autonomy as physicians. This partnership allows us to focus more on patient care while enjoying combined expertise in the business aspects of our practice. I’m excited and proud of our AOA physicians and partners who have helped build this wonderful service for women in the Phoenix area.”

Andrew Villa, MD, the President of the group, added. “We are excited to work with Women’s Health USA to further our mission to provide exceptional healthcare to women through Arizona’s leading women’s health practice. Our new partnership will enhance our efforts to bring the most advanced, innovative, and highest quality medical care to our communities. Moving forward together will allow us to expand our reach into other communities throughout Arizona, elevating the level of care to women.”

Goran Dragolovic, CEO at Women’s Health USA, commented on the company’s market and purpose: “Our mission is to support physicians in the women’s health field by protecting their clinical autonomy and allowing them to maintain control of their practice, and by empowering them to more effectively design and deliver optimal care for their patients. Drs. Urig and Villa and the rest of the AOA providers have a collective vision, passion and commitment to quality that is palpable, and we are energized by this opportunity to partner with them.

AOA is a group of 32 ObGyn physicians and 20 mid-level providers in the Phoenix area. The practice consists of 5 branches with 10 office locations in and around the Phoenix metro area.

The addition of this new partnership expands Women’s Health USA’s visibility as a premier national women’s health services company – now active in 6 states and serving more than 750,000 patients annually.

With a comprehensive suite of business management services, Women’s Health USA partners with ObGyn, reproductive endocrinology, and other specialty women’s health practices across the United States. It has a 20-year history of implementing creative growth strategies supporting streamlined operational costs, payer alignment, merger and acquisition plans, ancillary services development, marketing, and risk management services. Its unique partnership model enables physicians and physician groups to maintain their independence, while leveraging the resources of a national organization.

If you would like more information about this, please contact Leslie Stedman at 860-678-3400 or lstedman@whusa.com

Women’s Health USA Announces New Board of Directors

May 11, 2018

Avon, CT - Women’s Health USA announced today a new Board of Directors, another move in reinforcing the company’s role as a leading management services organization in the healthcare sector and poising it for meaningful long-term growth. The announcement follows a majority recapitalization event and appointment of a new chief executive officer in 2017 and demonstrates the company’s increasing commitment to being a highly-visible and impactful force in the women’s health care in the U.S.

New Board appointee, Kristin Torres Mowat, brings to Women’s Health USA experience in strategy, corporate development, acquisitions and integrations in the healthcare category. She currently serves as Senior Vice President, Corporate Development for Castlight Health in San Francisco. “I’m honored to join this board and continue to build on the strength Women’s Health USA has established with women’s health practitioners. I’m inspired to bring together an integrated delivery network that will lead the conversation on improving care for women.”

Natasha Deckmann, M.D., brings her clinical and population health management leadership skills, as well as her private equity advisory and operating experience to her new role on the Women’s Health USA board. She has significant background in the healthcare arena having served most recently as Senior Vice President, Head of Population Health Solutions at Optum. “I’m thrilled to be joining the Women’s Health USA team and look forward to playing an active and meaningful role in transforming the health care experience for women, and lowering their total cost of care, across the country.”

“What appeals to me about this role are the myriad opportunities to be truly shaping the delivery model and the conversation in the way this nation cares for women” stated Paul Martino, who will round out the new Board appointees for Women’s Health USA. Paul is Co-Founder of and currently serves as Chief Strategy Officer for VillageMD, a primary care management service organization headquartered in the Chicago area. His key skills sets in clinical strategy, innovation and market leadership will be of significant value in his new role as a Women’s Health USA board member.

Other members of the Women’s Health USA board include current CEO, Goran Dragolovic as well as Robert Patricelli, the former CEO, and David Finley and Gregg Osenkowski from Sverica Capital Management LP.

Women’s Health USA currently partners with OB/GYN, in vitro fertilization, and other specialty women’s health practices in 7 states to implement growth strategies, payer contracting, revenue cycle management, EMR support, financial and human resource management, merger and acquisition support, ancillary services development, marketing and risk management services.  With more than 600 physician partners, its unique and successful partnership model enables physicians and physician groups to maintain their independence, while leveraging the resources of a national organization.

Women’s Health USA and Central Texas OB/GYN Associates Form Joint Venture Partnership

April 5, 2018  Women’s Health USA, a national leader in management services in the women’s health sector, announced today a joint venture partnership with Austin-based Central Texas OB/GYN Associates (CTOA), the largest single-specialty practice in central Texas. In this joint venture, Women’s Health USA will provide CTOA access to capital and professional resources needed to expand market share and provide the necessary tools to focus on superior customer service and ensure an enhanced care delivery platform for its patients. As with all Women’s Health USA partners, a key objective is to deliver on the triple aim – to improve care experiences, health outcomes and total cost of care for female patients.

“We are excited to partner with CTOA, a national preeminent and respected leader in women’s health care,” said Women’s Health USA CEO Goran Dragolovic. “Their long legacy and uncompromising commitment to patient care and clinical excellence made them ideal partners for us and we look forward to bringing an expanded set of solutions and value to women patients, their employers and insurers, in central Texas and beyond.”

“Adding the resources of Women’s Health USA to Women’s Health Texas, CTOA’s Austin-based MSO, gives us enormous advantages,” says Dr. Paul Murphree, President of CTOA. “This partnership allows our physicians to focus even more on the high quality, patient-centered care that is our hallmark. By working with other Women’s Health USA physicians around the country, we’ll be able to improve the exceptional value we already provide, while expanding our care into new areas.”

With this change, CTOA will become known as Women’s Health Texas.

Women’s Health USA partners with OB/GYN, in vitro fertilization, and other specialty women’s health practices to implement growth strategies, payer contracting, revenue cycle management, EMR support, financial and human resource management, merger and acquisition support, ancillary services development, marketing and risk management services.  Its unique partnership model enables physicians and physician groups to maintain their independence, while leveraging the resources of a national organization.

Whusa Poised for Growth - Names New Chief Executive Officer

November 21, 2017 – The Women’s Health USA (Whusa) Board of Directors announced today the hiring of Goran Dragolovic as Chief Executive Officer. The move comes just a few months after Whusa completed a majority recapitalization with private equity firm Sverica Capital Management LLC (Sverica) in August and is a key piece in Whusa’s long-term growth initiative.

 Goran comes to Whusa with more than 30 years of management and leadership experience in a broad range of healthcare service environments. Most recently, Goran spent nearly 7 years at Surgical Care Affiliates (SCA), and then at Optum after SCA was acquired by Optum. Goran served in several capacities there, including management of a $500M portfolio of surgery centers and specialty hospitals in the western US, leading enterprise-wide strategic service line expansion and, after the Optum transaction, Goran served as Senior Vice President of Practice Growth and Transformation for Optum. In that role, Goran helped aggregate and organize specialty and surgical physician groups into market-leading “CINs (clinically-integrated networks),” “High-performance IPAs,” and “Value-based Narrow Networks.” These groups were positioned to take advantage of innovative payment models on an episodic and population risk basis, either under upside gain-sharing arrangements, or on a full-risk basis. These arrangements empowered independent physicians to take greater control of value-based care delivery within their respective markets, ensured attendant economic benefits, and enabled physician groups to grow and thrive within the existing volatile healthcare market.

 “Since Sverica’s investment in Whusa, the Sverica team has focused on a candidate worthy of our vision to replace retiring founder, Bob Patricelli. We found Goran to be extremely well-suited for the position.” said Dave Finley, Chairman of Board for Whusa. “His experiences will be highly complementary to the capabilities and expertise of the current Whusa senior executive team.”

 Dragolovic adds, “There is a unique opportunity for OBGYN practitioners to become indispensable architects of value-based delivery models within their specialty, deliver on the triple aim, and transform the trajectory of women’s health. As a nationally recognized leader in women’s health with an impeccable reputation, clinical credibility and expertise, Whusa is uniquely positioned to lead efforts to assist physicians in seizing these opportunities.

I’m grateful and thrilled to join the remarkable team at Whusa and help lead our collective growth efforts.”

 Whusa provides OBGYN, In Vitro Fertilization, and other specialty women’s health practices with a full suite of practice management solutions including payor contracting, revenue cycle management, EMR support, financial and human resource management, merger and acquisition support, ancillary services development, and risk management services.  Whusa’s unique partnership model enables physicians and physician groups to maintain their independence, while leveraging the resources of a national organization.

Whusa and Sverica Join Forces for Growth

August 9, 2017 - Women’s Health USA, Inc. (“Whusa”), an Avon CT-based provider of services to women’s health physicians and practices, announced today that it had concluded a majority recapitalization with Sverica Capital Management LLC (“Sverica”), a private equity investment firm with offices in Boston and San Francisco.

Whusa was founded in 1997 and has built a leading national managed services platform focused on OBGYN and In Vitro Fertilization physicians.  Robert E. Patricelli, founder, CEO and majority shareholder of Whusa, said “our new partnership with Sverica will give Whusa the capital and backing to grow faster and to be more supportive of women’s health physicians who are looking to remain independent but at the same time be part of a national network of high quality professionals.  I am particularly pleased that virtually all of the senior management team, who really built this company, are staying on for the next exciting chapter in Whusa’s history.” Whusa is the third Patricelli-founded company which he has built and successfully sold, following Value Health, Inc. (NYSE “VHI”, 1987-1997), and Evolution Benefits, Inc. (2000-2010). Patricelli will step down as CEO after a transition period and will retain an equity stake in the company and serve on its board of directors.  Nancy P. Bernstein will continue as President and Chief Operating Officer of the company.

David Finley, Managing Director at Sverica said “We are pleased to partner with Whusa and its management team to continue building the leading women’s health organization in the US.”

Whusa provides OBGYN, In Vitro Fertilization, and other specialty women’s health practices with a full suite of practice management solutions including payor contracting, revenue cycle management, EMR support, financial and human resource management, merger and acquisition support, ancillary services development, and risk management services.  Whusa’s unique partnership model enables physicians and physician groups to maintain their independence, while leveraging the resources of a national organization.

Sverica is a leading lower-middle-market-focused private equity firm that has raised over $700 million of investment capital across four funds. The firm acquires and actively builds companies that are, or could become, leaders in their industries. Since 2001, Sverica has maintained a “high touch” operating philosophy of taking an active role in portfolio companies. Sverica devotes significant internal resources to help its management teams develop and execute growth strategies. For more information, please visit sverica.com.

SunTrust Robinson Humphrey acted as exclusive financial advisor to Women’s Health USA, and Dechert LLC acted as Women’s Health USA’s legal counsel. Sverica was advised by Foley Lardner LLP, The Marwood Group, and Alvarez & Marsal.   Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Hartford Lost Aetna, New York Didn't Win It

By Robert E. Patricelli
July 17, 2017. Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini was right. Of course Hartford can't compete with New York City as a global corporate headquarters with Gotham's vast array of resources — law firms, accounting firms, regulatory bodies, financial markets, national and international hub airports, universities, media, sports and entertainment, and on and on.

But, interestingly, none of Aetna's prime health insurance and health care competitors is headquartered in New York City. Aetna's move didn't have to be. Connecticut and Hartford have great assets in the knowledge economy and a better quality of life for most employees than New York City. New York didn't win it, we lost it.

We have no one to blame but ourselves. We have allowed Hartford, over the course of 50 years, to plummet from being one of the best run cities to being a municipal mendicant, teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. Shame on all of us who live in, work in or love Hartford.

At the same time we have let our state's finances, public infrastructure and business friendly reputation deteriorate to an alarming and embarrassing legislative gridlock. Even if the General Assembly produces a budget deal, which is far from clear at this writing, it will be another stop gap measure, devoid of structural reform (not that the governor didn't try).

It happened because we trusted to others to do our work. We have watched our political parties stray from centrist pragmatic ideologies to partisan opposition, but we didn't get active politically. We trusted our political-governmental system, without noticing that — for the most part — people knowledgeable about the economy are not running for office anymore. Of the 186 members of the legislature, only about 40 percent are working in a business — the rest are in nonprofit, law, education, government and labor careers. There are almost no employees of large companies who serve as legislators because, sadly, they are not encouraged at work to do so.

We also harbored wistful memories of "The Bishops" — hoping that the large company CEOs would ride to the rescue with civic reforms. Well, let me give you a clue — it isn't going to happen. With a few notable exceptions, global CEOs prefer to be globe-trotting. Most don't have the time or inclination to lead civic renewal efforts. Even if they did, they have multiple cities and states in which their companies have major commitments of resources, and Connecticut has to get in line.

It may be that our current legislature, made up of well-meaning but part-time legislators who are constantly beset by special interest pleaders, simply cannot undertake basic structural reform any more. We don't need just a two-year budget, we need a plan that will restore Connecticut's economic mojo. But we are not getting one — the system isn't working.

So what must we do? Roll up our sleeves. Just because Mr. Bertolini is right under today's circumstances, he doesn't have to stay right. We have seen this movie before — at the federal level. We would do well to borrow a model from the bipartisan 2010 Simpson-Bowles report, which created a long-term, federal budget stabilization plan. Connecticut needs its own Simpson-Bowles Commission and, unlike what happened at the federal level, we need to debate and enact the reforms it recommends.

Remember the prophetic words of Alexis de Tocqueville writing about America as he observed it in 1831:

"These Americans are peculiar people. If, in a local community, a citizen becomes aware of a human need which is not being met, he thereupon discusses the situation with his neighbors. Suddenly, a committee comes into existence. The committee thereupon begins to operate on behalf of the need and a new community function is established. It is like watching a miracle, because these citizens perform this act without a single reference to any bureaucracy, or any official agency."

Stay tuned. The committee is forming.

Robert E. Patricelli is CEO of Women's Health USA Inc. based in Avon. He has worked in senior policy positions in the federal government and as CEO of several Connecticut companies he founded.

Verrastro Promoted To Head Connecticut’s Largest Fertility Program

Farmington, CT, April 4, 2017. The Center for Advanced Reproductive Services announced today that Paul Verrastro has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer. He previously held the position of Chief Operating Officer and has been with the Center since 2000. “The Center is proud to recognize Paul with this promotion. Paul leads by example, never wavering from our mission to provide the highest quality of medical care with compassion and dignity,” stated John C. Nulsen, MD, Director and a lead physician at the Center.

The Center for Reproductive Services is Connecticut’s largest fertility program, and one of the most successful in the country. Started in 1984, the Center employs over 100 individuals in the state and is responsible for the births of over 12,000 babies. The Center is an academic affiliate of the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and runs the fellowship program in Reproductive Medicine and Infertility at the UConn School of Medicine.

According to Brian Pskowski, President of In Vitro Sciences, “Paul’s firm commitment to patient satisfaction has resulted in continued growth and recognition for the Center.” The Center for Advanced Reproductive Services is managed by In Vitro Sciences, Inc., a subsidiary of Women's Health USA, Inc. (Whusa). Whusa is a family of companies dedicated to providing the best in business management solutions in partnership with physicians.  “Paul’s promotion recognizes his hard work and dedication to the Center and to the Women’s Health family,” stated Robert Patricelli, Whusa chairman and CEO.

In 2015, the Center moved into a new, custom-designed facility in Farmington. The new facility features one of the most highly advanced IVF labs in the world including an innovative air purification and irradiation technology called the LifeAire System. New data from in vitro fertilization programs using LifeAire System demonstrates dramatic increases in clinical pregnancies through in vitro fertilization. Additional sites for the Center include Hartford and New London.

Paul Verrastro has his MPA in Health Management from the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Administration at New York University. He has his BA from the Gallatin School at New York University, graduating magna cum laude. He is a resident of Prospect, CT.

Women's Health USA Names Bernstein President

Avon, Connecticut, March 1, 2017 - Nancy Bernstein has been named, effective today, President and Chief Operating Officer of Women’s Health USA (Whusa), the Avon, Connecticut-based company providing business services to health care providers in Connecticut and five other states. In her role, Nancy will be responsible for Whusa’s operations with OBGYN physicians and family planning clinics in six states throughout the country, including Connecticut, as well as clinical, billing and operating functions.

Robert E. Patricelli, Chairman and CEO of Whusa, made the announcement.  “Since joining our team in 1999, Nancy has demonstrated great skill and leadership, rising through the ranks to become President of Women’s Health Connecticut and more recently to Executive Vice President of Whusa,” he said.  “Women’s Health Connecticut, or WHC, is the company’s flagship joint venture with more than 200 OBGYNs in the state coming together in a single partnership to provide women excellence in their health care experience.”  Patricelli further explained that Bernstein would continue as President of WHC for the foreseeable future.

With enthusiasm for her new role, Ms. Bernstein stated “I’m looking forward to putting my experiences and successes in Connecticut to use on a broader scope of business, helping to advance Whusa as a national player in the women’s health services arena. We have an ambitious vision for the company and I’m looking forward to the new challenge which comes with that.”

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