May 17, 2011

The health-care industry is in an unprecedented period of change. Corporations, hospitals, health-care providers, public officials and patients are seeking ways to improve care quality and reduce costs. These trends, coupled with health reform and game-changing technology, are transforming the ways health care is being delivered.

A hallmark of Nashvill’s $62 billion health-care industry is its well-known ability to respond to changes in the market and health-care policy, which positions the city well to experience significant growth and job creation. This past week at its annual “Financing the Deal” panel discussion, the Nashville Health Care Council convened a panel of experts from investment banking and private equity from across the nation to give their insider perspectives on the health-care market and areas of growth and investment. The experts agreed on several issues:

It’s a great time to be a health-care entrepreneur or business leader. Valuations are attractive, capital constraints are lifting, and access to funding is more available than ever before. New ideas about how to make health care more efficient and effective are being funded sooner and at higher levels than they have been in years. Furthermore, milestones such as HCA’s public offering, a historic event in the capital markets, are paving the way for other deals and transactions.”

We will see growth and investment in many arenas. Health-care providers are poised for growth, along with other sectors, from pain management and radiation oncology to home health care and technologies that help patients become better consumers. Much focus is on the health-care information technology sector, as solutions are developed that improve patient and provider engagement and turn collected health data into usable information that leads to better health outcomes.

The changing environment is creating significant opportunities for companies. To address policy changes and meet evolving needs, new companies that work to improve clinical processes and lower costs are being formed, and established companies are expanding services and finding their own niches in the changing landscape. Collaborations are being developed across the industry that are pioneering ways to improve patient care.

Factors make Nashville rising industry leader

Nashville is positioned to become the center of the health-care industry. The city is home to a diverse mix of more than 250 companies in hospital management, health information technology, disease management and clinical research, among other sectors. Several other factors also set Nashville’s health-care industry apart.

Start-up and expanding health-care companies can launch operations here in less time than anywhere else. Nashville also offers access to a deep bench of talent that comes from the city’s more than four decades of expertise in health-care management, as well as a tremendous network of experienced investors and advisers that can support companies of all sizes. Adding to it is the collaboration and respectful competition between members of the industry that have fostered a unique environment for health-care business.

The Nashville Health Care Council panel reinforced that Nashville’s health-care industry is ready to take the lead in this evolving market. I look forward to seeing how the industry grows and creates new opportunities and jobs in our community in the months and years to come.

Tom Wylly is a senior partner at Brentwood Capital Advisors and served as moderator of the Nashville Health Care Council ‘s“Financing the Deal” program. He serves on the board of Nashville Health Care Council and is chairman of the Nashville Capital Network.

Tom Wylly

About Brentwood Capital Advisors LLC

Brentwood Capital Advisors LLC, founded in 1999, is a privately held investment bank headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, providing mergers & acquisitions and capital-raising advisory services to middle-market companies in the healthcare, information technology, financial services and business services sectors. BCA has served as exclusive financial advisor in over 50 successfully closed transactions in these sectors. For more information, visit www.brentwoodcapital.com.