Kevin Finnegan, MD, a gastroenterologist with One GI and Associated Endoscopy in Brentwood, Tenn., joined Becker's to discuss where consolidation is headed and what growth opportunities he sees in the industry.
Editor's note: This interview was edited lightly for clarity and brevity.
Question: Where do you think consolidation in the GI field is headed within five years or so?
Dr. Kevin Finnegan: We're gonna see more of it. Prospective partners that I speak with and individuals that are coming out of fellowship, you know, we talk about One GI and I tell them that if you've not heard about consolidation, you will. It's only going to become more prevalent as physicians want to maintain their independence, but need to have more of a say in how that healthcare is delivered.
So for those individuals coming into practice who haven't heard of consolidation, they will. It will only become more prevalent and more popular moving forward as an attractive alternative to being employed. I think gone are the days where you get out of training and you go into practice by yourself with maybe one or two other people. That model just won't survive moving forward.
Q: Where are the biggest opportunities for growth in GI?
KF: Gastroenterology is becoming a lot more specialized, but certainly there's a lot more focus on specific disease processes. There's not just colon cancer screening — there's chronic liver disease and management of folks with chronic liver disease. Fatty liver disease is becoming an epidemic in our country, and we're seeing more individuals with chronic liver disease related to fatty liver. I think treatment and development of treatments for these conditions will continue to grow in gastroenterology.
Another area that will continue to grow is inflammatory bowel disease, also colitis and Crohn's disease patients. Currently, there are more clinical research trials available for patients to develop drugs for inflammatory bowel disease for our patients to be put in, and so we also understand more about the mechanisms of inflammatory bowel disease.