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Rocky Mountain Spine & Sport Partnership Story

Partner since 2018. Grew from 7 - 11 clinics.

Interview with Eric Krell, Regional Vice President


1. What were the challenges in owning your own business that motivated you to explore partnering with a larger company?

As a company, we were experiencing slow growth with de novo clinics (new clinics); we had limited operational structure and support (HR, legal, compliance, revenue cycle/billing); and we struggled to attract long-term associates because we couldn’t offer competitive benefits.

Given our size, we struggled with financial burdens in a down market.

As an owner, I was wearing too many hats and stretched too thin, so I wasn’t focused on what an owner really needs to be doing.


2. What did you see the benefits to be in such a partnership?

The partnership freed me to be the leader I have always wanted to be. I  am able to focus on my leadership strengths and grow the business.

We’ve improved staff retention because we can offer exceptional benefits and, more important, be part of a great company culture.

Upstream has helped us accelerate new-clinic growth with its proven track record and process for finding locations, signing great leases and getting new clinic openings to the finish line.

The larger Upstream umbrella can help us weather the storm financially much better than I could have alone.


3. How would you describe your experience with Upstream so far?

It has been fantastic.  I truly feel like a partner with full support.  Our vision for RMSS is aligned with Upstream’s and we work very well together.  I am even more involved in the day-to-day business than I ever was before and still feel like an integral part of its success.


4. What year did your partnership begin? And how many clinics did you have at the time? 

When it began in January 2018, we had seven clinics.


5. What advice would you have to others that may be considering a similar opportunity?

Clearly define what your goals are with a potential sale or partnership: be all in or not in at all. Do you want out or do you want to partner and grow? You need to be clear on this and communicate it to a potential buyer.

Talk to references. Those who already have partnered can be valuable resources as they have walked in your shoes.

Be willing to listen and learn from leaders who know the industry.

Your business probably isn’t worth as much as you think. Be realistic.

If you are using a broker, use one that has worked with the potential partner before. It makes the process much easier.

If you would like to learn more about the options you have for selling your practice or becoming a partner with Upstream, please contact Phil Christian, Senior VP of Business Development at 205-991-7488 or email:

Begin the process today