Tenet inks deal to sell urgent care business as it doubles down on surgery centers

Dive Brief:

  • Tenet entered into an agreement to sell its urgent care business to FastMed, the for-profit chain said Friday. Tenet’s urgent care business is branded CareSpot and MedPost.
  • The deal will almost double FastMed’s footprint and provide entry into Florida and California, where most of Tenet’s urgent care centers are located. It will add 87 CareSpot and MedPost centers to FastMed’s portfolio of 104 locations across three states.
  • Financial terms of the deal, expected to close in the first quarter, were not disclosed.

Dive Insight:

The move further solidifies Tenet’s strategy to become the dominant ambulatory surgery center business. 

Tenet CEO Ron Rittenmeyer said the divestiture enables the Dallas-based health system to “sharpen our focus” on its growing outpatient surgical business through its segment, United Surgical Partners.  

Just last week Tenet announced it was further scaling its USPI business by purchasing up to 45 new ambulatory surgery centers in a $1.1 billion cash deal.

Executives characterized that deal as transformative, allowing it to become a leader in the musculoskeletal outpatient surgery space, a fast growing area of surgery cases.

Tenet’s long-term strategy has included divesting in areas, particularly hospital markets, where it is not the No. 1 or No. 2 player. By doing so, Tenet hones in on areas where it is most competitive. 

The urgent care and retail clinic sector is rife with competition, especially from nontraditional providers such as CVS Health and Walgreens.

Both CVS and Walgreens announced plans over the last two years to significantly expand their retail clinic presence. 

Walgreens plans to spend $1 billion to open as many as 700 clinics across the country over the next five years in partnership with VillageMD. 

CVS said in 2019 that it planned to open as many as 1,500 HealthHUB stores over the course of two years.

Plus, the pandemic has accelerated telehealth trends, connecting patients with providers virtually, another potential competitor to siphon patients away from the retail and urgent care sectors.

Tenet’s deal with FastMed will be subject to regulatory approvals, Tenet said Friday.