HM Hospitales: how to go from one hospital to 20, while maintaining the character of a family business



On October 3, 2022, a breakfast with Juan Abarca Cidón, President of HM Hospitales, took place as part of the series “Breakfasts with health sector leaders“, organized by Roland Berger.

A summary of the breakfast content is as follows:

The origins

It all started thanks to the drive of Dr. Juan Abarca Campal, a visionary surgeon with a great passion for caring for the sick; who, in collaboration with his wife, Dr. Carmen Cidón Tamargo, more focused on management, promoted the creation of the San Pedro hospital, later renamed HM Madrid, in the Plaza Conde del Valle Suchil.

This hospital made it possible to establish the seeds of the vision of what would later be the HM Hospitales network. It meant a revolution in terms of the ways of doing private medicine in Madrid at that time, based on the freedom of prescription of the doctor of studies and treatments and the co-responsibility of clinicians with the hospital. Let us remember that in the private hospitals of the time the doctors would operate in the afternoon and there were no emergencies.

A large part of the processes were subsequently designed over the course of 18 months by Juan Abarca Cidón himself at the Hospital de Montepríncipe, the second hospital launched, where he began his management journey in the Group.

Key elements of the vision

  • Hierarchical hospitals, with a department head in charge of the medical specialties, in contrast to the “open” model, in force until then in private hospitals
  • Emphasis on quality (Montepríncipe was the first Spanish hospital with ISO accreditation for the entire hospital)
  • Hospital organization based on medical directors, with territorial directors
  • Highest level of synergies, both healthcare and corporate
  • All the hospitals work in a network, both locally (in each of the four networks that the Group currently has) and nationally
  • Facultative Board, in all hospitals
  • Computer integration, with a single medical record
  • Teaching and research vocation, in order to attract talent
  • HM Institute, to promote training for medium and higher grade sanitary technicians
  • HM Hospitales research foundation, although HM tried to present itself to be a Research Institute recognized by the Carlos III Health Institute, they were not authorized because it is a private group

A growth in network

A very original element of HM Hospitales is that they do not have hospitals scattered throughout the territory, but rather a network growth. At this moment they have four networks: in Madrid, Galicia, León, Barcelona and Málaga, as seen in the following diagram:


Comprehensive centers

Another originality, from the private sphere, is the promotion of comprehensive centers, which group the entire set of resources around diseases or highly prevalent care needs.

Currently there are four comprehensive centers:

  • Comprehensive Center for Cardiovascular Diseases (in Madrid and Barcelona)
  • Clara Campal Comprehensive Oncology Center (Madrid and Barcelona)
  • Integral Center of Neurosciences AC (Madrid and Barcelona)
  • HM Fertility Center (Madrid)

A new commitment to eye health has recently been made, launching the HM Eye Center.

The residences

The Group has 5 residences. The objective is to facilitate continuity of care.

Transparency as a value

A very striking characteristic of HM hospitals, and exceptional among private Spanish hospitals and even among public ones, is the publication of their results on the web, both in terms of activity and incorporating some quality indicators.

Their records have allowed them to have a centralized database of COVID patients, which they have made available to society.

Some facts of interest

The Group’s second hospital was the Montepríncipe hospital, a complete success, reaching 5,500 deliveries. Subsequently, together with the Torrelodones hospital (the 3rd in the Group, opened in 2003) they reached 7,000 deliveries per year.

The San Francisco Hospital, in León, is the only private hospital in Spain with its own bone and tissue bank.

The Group has more than 600,000 emergencies.

A very notable investment (9 million) was made to provide an animal facility for Dr. Obeso’s research team, at the Integral Center for Neurosciences.

The clients

HM has 92% of its patients coming from insurers, fleeing from the public tender.

The new projects

After 16 years of collaboration with the CEU, they have recently changed their university partner, starting a new project with the Camilo José Cela University, with the aim of having their own university in health sciences. They already have MIR in 9 specialties. The Group also has an agreement with Chile and Colombia to train nurses, doing the last year of their studies in  hospitals of the Group. Teaching and research are part of the DNA of HM Hospitales.

In Rivas (Madrid) HM Hospitales will soon open a hospital with an attached residence.

The internationalization of patients

HM through HM International, another Group company, attracts patients from other parts of the world, particularly from Eastern European and Arab countries.

Some elements on the philosophy of the Group

The philosophy of HM Hospitales is:

  • 1st. First things first, the patients. Offering them the best care is the main objective of the Group
  • 2nd. Have fun and add value to society, trying to improve it
  • 3rd. Earn money, for the freedom it offers

Within this last point, in 2020 they billed 600 million euros, of which 60% was in Madrid, where 85% of EBIDTA is obtained.