PE-backed ECP merges with Hernando County Emergency Physicians

Emergency Care Partners has merged with Hernando County Emergency Physicians, a provider of outsourced emergency department management services in Florida.

Emergency Care Partners has merged with Hernando County Emergency Physicians, a provider of outsourced emergency department management services in Florida. No financial terms were disclosed. ECP is backed by Varsity Healthcare Partners and Regal Healthcare Capital Partners.


PENSACOLA, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Emergency Care Partners (“ECP”), a leading national provider of emergency medicine and emergency department management services for hospitals, today announced the completion of a strategic merger with Hernando County Emergency Physicians (“HCEP”), a provider of outsourced emergency department management services in Florida.

The combined emergency medicine platform will service departmental operations at 40 locations, supported by a combined clinical workforce of approximately 700 physicians and mid-level providers, treating roughly 1,000,000 patients annually. HCEP’s physician partners will join as ECP shareholders, with Roderick Bennett, M.D. serving as President of HCEP and Onier Villareal, M.D. serving as Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer.

Bill Yarbrough, CEO of ECP, stated, “We are very excited to welcome HCEP and their providers as a regional physician group practice of Emergency Care Partners. Their strong physician partnerships and local health system relationships paired with their complementary strategic goals and regional footprint make them an ideal addition to our national group. We look forward to working with Drs. Bennett and Villareal and leveraging our deep bench of expertise to support their growth and expansion across the state.”

The combined business will continue the service-intensive approach to managing emergency departments implemented by both companies prior to their combination, leveraging ECP’s unique model of combining local physician equity partnerships and differentiated analytics platform to deliver the highest level of care to consumers across the region.

“As the emergency healthcare space continues to evolve and expand, the timing couldn’t be better to partner with Bill and the rest of the ECP team,” said Dr. Roderick Bennett, President of HCEP. “This new partnership allows us to leverage ECP’s infrastructure and resources to deliver the best quality care and patient experiences for our health system partners.”

ECP remains a majority physician-held business, with HCEP’s physicians joining ECP’s existing physician shareholders and partners. ECP is backed by financial sponsors, Varsity Healthcare Partners (“VHP”) and Regal Healthcare Capital Partners (“Regal”).
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP acted as legal adviser to ECP and VHP, while Roetzel & Andress acted as legal advisors to HCEP.

About Emergency Care Partners
Headquartered in Pensacola, Florida, ECP is a leading provider of emergency medicine and emergency department management services for hospitals across the U.S. with current operations in Louisiana, New York, Pennsylvania and Illinois. ECP currently services approximately 1,000,000 patient visits annually across operations at 40 sites of service, supported by a clinical workforce of 700+ physicians and mid-level providers. ECP employs a differentiated model relative to other platforms in the emergency medicine space, highlighted by the ability to maintain ownership through its physician partnership model (with over 60% of physicians being shareholders today) and the ability for regional/local groups to maintain their branding and clinical autonomy while still benefitting from ECP’s significant back-office infrastructure. This critical infrastructure includes support for revenue cycle, financial and operational reporting, recruiting, training, compliance, contracting, scheduling and payroll, among other functions. ECP’s affiliated medical groups also have access to the platform’s proprietary analytics platform, which operatively interfaces in real time with each hospital’s IT platform to track/report daily key performance indicators (KPI) in the emergency room. These include throughput, capacity utilization and clinical quality metrics and ancillary services reporting, which are used by ECP clinical/operational leaders and the hospitals themselves to drive quality service and outcomes and a consistent patient experience within each customer’s emergency department. For more information please visit:

About Varsity Healthcare Partners
Varsity Healthcare Partners is a lower middle-market private equity investment firm focused on partnering with founders, entrepreneurs and management teams to build leading healthcare services companies. VHP has been successful in developing and executing a tailored value-creation plan, in partnership with the leadership of each company that typically emphasizes investments in infrastructure followed by an aggressive organic and acquisition growth strategy. VHP draws upon its extensive healthcare industry experience and relationships, as well as its hands-on partnership approach to effectively drive growth and maximize value. For more information please visit:

About Regal Healthcare Capital Partners
Regal Healthcare Capital Partners (“Regal”) is a New York-based growth equity and buyout firm focused exclusively on lower-middle market healthcare services companies. Regal partners with leading-edge healthcare entrepreneurs in need of financial investment and strategic, operational, and managerial expertise. Regal and its co-founders, Dr. David Kim and Jon Santemma, bring a unique combination of operational and transactional experience to healthcare services companies to help realize their growth potential. For more information, please visit: