Key Takeaways from the Annual JP Morgan ConferenceBy Rob Harris | 02-02-2015
Last month, a group from Waller headed out to San Francisco for one of our industry’s biggest annual events – the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference. In a short three days, we, like every other attendee, were booked in back-to-back sessions with key players from across the industry. And, of course, we were also able to do a little bit of swirling at some of the conference’s biggest evening events. Through these meetings and events, we gained some key insights about the year ahead and what we can expect to occur:
- Physician Practice Management: While a number of private equity firms continue to have their eyes on dental, they are also focusing on dermatology, ophthalmology, optometry, pain management, gastroenterology and other areas where our physician practice management expertise is relevant.
- HIT: Revenue Cycle Management was top of mind for many investors, and we reiterated our work with two of the sector’s biggest deals last year: Revpoint/Availity and Redoc/ Net Health, both of which closed in June 2014. Remote monitoring technologies are also of great interest to investors. Lastly, we heard – from investors and providers – that they are interested in apps that engage both providers and consumers – there are too many apps that do one or the other.
- Physician Staffing: Given the physician and nursing shortage, staffing companies are becoming increasingly relevant. A number of the investors were interested in companies providing these services.
- Home Health and Hospice: One of our contacts predicted that at least 15 percent of home health companies would be unprofitable by 2017, which will drive more consolidation. And, on the government investigations front, hospice is the next shoe to drop.
- Healthcare Education: Many investors mentioned their interest in healthcare education – such as services that support continuing medical education (CME).
- Hospital Consolidation: Through our conversations with brokers and health systems, we discussed the M&A landscape and the types of deals that are out there. While there will continue to be a number of hospitals selling, on the opposite end of the spectrum are large not-for-profits looking to scale their model but needing access to capital in order to do so. This idea was reiterated during the panel discussion at the Nashville Health Care Council’s annual Wall Street event in January, where it was predicted that more "horizontal" partnerships between unusual allies like for-profit and non-profit providers would continue.
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