HGP HIT October Insights

November 06, 2019

During the month of October, Health IT continued its evolution into an amorphous market that is increasingly trending away from a specialized niche of healthcare and into a key component of larger sectors such as Enterprise Software, HR Administration, Insurance, Care Delivery, Suppliers, and BioPharma. The transaction trends are a testament to Health IT’s increasing integration into workflows across the healthcare sector, underscoring the importance and high value of the sector. Historically non-traditional investors are becoming the norm, and significant buyers during the month included the likes of Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Express Scripts, Humana, Unitedhealthcare, Intermountain, Siemens, and Philips.  


Noteworthy Transactions

 Noteworthy M&A transactions during the month include:

 Noteworthy buyout transactions during the month include:

 Noteworthy investment transactions during the month include:


Noteworthy News Headlines

  • An early-morning ransomware attack on October 1st forced DCH Health System (AL) to divert patients from its hospitals. On October 5th, the Alabama hospital group announced that they had made a payment to the hackers responsible for the attack to purchase a decryption key and expedite system recovery.

  • Epic Systems gearing up for yet another expansion - Filings with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources show that Epic intends to expand its Verona campus to accommodate another 1,200 employees over the next five years.

  • HHS' massive Stark overhaul prompts optimism for value-based care models. Many of the top health system and provider groups lauded the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS') proposed regulations aimed at updating the decades-old Stark Law saying they believe it is the start to removing major regulatory headaches stymying the shift to value-based care models. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and HHS' Office of Inspector General proposed rules Wednesday introducing new safe harbors to the anti-kickback statute and reforms to the 1989 Stark Law that bans physician self-referrals. The proposed rules would create new exceptions to Stark and safe harbors to shield value-based care arrangements between doctors and healthcare facilities.

  • Centra (VA) resumes billing and collections after a three-month hiatus caused by glitchy Cerner software that hospital officials say led to rejected claims, delayed billing, incorrect bills, and prematurely sending patients to collections for lack of payment.  According to the article, health care systems in Missouri, Kansas, North Dakota, Canada, New York, Wisconsin and Virginia all have reported billing problems following the implementation of Cerner in recent years, with some providers taking legal action to recoup losses. In Centra’s financial disclosure statement for the six months ending in June, right before billing was temporarily halted, Centra reported Cerner, “slowed the billing cycle,” and “drove an increase in days in accounts receivable and reduced cash reserves.”

  • Amazon acquires start-up Health Navigator, its first health-related purchase since PillPack. Amazon will offer newly acquired Health Navigator’s symptom-checker and triage chatbot service to its employees as part of its Amazon Cares virtual clinic pilot.  This is Amazon’s second acquisition in the health-care technology space after its acquisition of PillPack in June 2018.

  • Fitbit, Inc. (NYSE: FIT) announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Google LLC for $7.35 per share in cash, valuing the company at a fully diluted equity value of approximately $2.1 billion.  “With Google’s resources and global platform, Fitbit will be able to accelerate innovation in the wearables category, scale faster, and make health even more accessible to everyone. I could not be more excited for what lies ahead,” said James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit.


Public Company Performance

HGP tracks stock indices for publicly traded health IT companies within four different sectors - Health IT, Payers, Healthcare Services, and Health IT & Payer Services. The chart below summarizes the performance of these sectors compared to the S&P 500 for the month of October:


The following tables include summary statistics on the four sectors tracked by HGP as well as the S&P 500 and NASDAQ for October 2019: