Physician Group Esse Health, Value-Based Care Company Navvis Merge

Navvis, a company focused on population health and value-based care, is merging with St. Louis-based independent physician group Esse Health to form a new company called Surround Care.

Navvis, also based in St. Louis, provides solutions that accelerate the journey to value-based care, including standing up the infrastructure and payment/compensation models and working on provider alignment and market expansion.

Esse Health, which has 50 locations in the St. Louis area, will continue its 27-year mission to serve patients and families, while Navvis will continue to serve health systems, physician enterprises, and health plans to advance performance and scale in value-based contracting and optimize the health of populations. Esse Health’s experience and expertise will be integrated into Navvis’ solution, enriching the physician-focused approach and serving as a center of excellence, training facility, and learning lab for Navvis and its partners, the companies said.

Surround Care, the parent company of Navvis and Esse Health, projects revenues of $663.5 million in 2022 and has:

• 1,200 employees
• Operations in 9 states
• Over 4 million attributed patients being served
• 2.53 million commercial lives
• 565,000 Medicare lives
• 930,000 Medicaid lives
• 4,600 affiliated physicians

Esse and Navvis said they will offer a new business model that extends, restores, and amplifies the professional satisfaction of physicians while addressing affordability, quality, access, and experience. The combination brings practical applications and capabilities to accelerate the change needed across health systems, physician enterprises, and health plans in population health and value-based care, they said.

“Esse Health’s clinical excellence and operational rigor are revered in our industry. Their physicians and leaders aspire to share their approach to outstanding care delivery with other physician enterprises around the country. Together, we will accelerate our work to make the practice of medicine more sustainable while advancing healthcare affordability, quality, access, and experience,” said Mike Farris, chairman and chief executive officer of Surround Care and chairman and chief executive officer of Navvis, in a statement. “Surround Care will exponentially advance our ability to meet the unique needs of our market partners. We will deploy innovative new structures for joint ventures, business combinations, and other partnership models. Surround Care will give our partners an advantage as the industry rapidly innovates around new payment and care delivery models.”

“We continue to invest and grow in the St. Louis and Southern Illinois communities and have a mission to bring our innovative care approach to other physicians. The combination with Navvis provides us access to the capabilities and scale necessary to realize this mission,” said David Kearney, chief executive officer of Esse Health, in a statement. “We evaluated many strategic options to further our mission. Combining with Navvis opens tremendous opportunities for us at the national level as we advance our longstanding commitment to the communities we serve, our colleagues, and the medical profession at large.”

Navvis and Esse Health will continue to operate as individual business units and wholly owned subsidiaries of Surround Care. Mike Farris will serve as the chairman and chief executive officer of Surround Care, supported by a board of directors made up of leaders from physician enterprises, health systems, and health plans. The leadership team will oversee the strategic direction, performance, and scalability of the combined company.

David B. Nash, M.D., M.B.A., founding dean emeritus of the Jefferson College of Population Health and author of “How Covid Crashed the System: A Guide to Fixing American Health Care,” offered a statement weighing in on the potential of the merger. “Population health and value-based care strategies empower healthcare leaders to solve some of the most complex problems they face including financial pressures, physician burnout, and improving the health of a population. With the clinical brilliance of Esse Health and the operational expertise of Navvis, Surround Care ushers in a new way for physicians, health systems, and health plans to work together in delivering exceptional patient care.”