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Disruptive. Transformative. Empowering. Integrated Digital Care for the Future.

Dave Jackson Dave Jackson, Stockhouse
2 Comments| January 25, 2022

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CareSpan Health Inc. (TSX-V.CSPN, Forum) is a disruptive, transformative, and empowering company providing a digital healthcare platform that integrates digital care tools, capabilities, and data in one place.

The company's proprietary "Clinic-in-the Cloud" is a clinical workflow driven platform designed by doctors that integrates remote patient monitoring, diagnostic tools, the patient's electronic health record, care collaboration capabilities, patient engagement and e-prescribing and lab ordering. CareSpan's platform seamlessly supports both in-person and virtual/telehealth care. CareSpan is using this platform combined with essential business services to build provider networks across the U.S. that deliver primary and chronic care, and urgent care as well as behavioral healthcare.

In this exclusive Stockhouse video Q&A, host Dave Jackson was joined by company CEO Rembert de Villa to introduce our investor audience to this unique healthcare / tech investment opportunity.


(CLICK IMAGE TO PLAY VIDEO)

TRANSCRIPT BELOW:

SH: To start off with, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and the history of the company?

RDV: Sure. Happy to do that. I joined the company first as an investor and board member in December of 2017. At that time, I was leading the healthcare business of a major analytics digital transformation and operations management company, where the team built the business from a standing start to what is now a very meaningful enterprise. I took on the CEO role at Care Span in August of 2018 and since then have focused the company on one mission: using into integrated digital technology to empower clinicians to deliver great care and achieve better health outcomes at lower cost.

SH: Can you update our investor audience and your CareSpan shareholders on any new company developments, especially in the wake of COVID-19 and the omicron variant?

RDV: Yes. Interesting question Dave, so what we've seen is one clear trend in a rise in patient visits. Just looking at Q4 2021 data, over that year, clinicians using our integrated platform have actually seen more patients. So that's trend number one. We are doing some analysis to see if this spike is due to typical seasonality of the business and to whether or not Omicron contributed to this. We know that patient visits have also increased year to date, 60% and year on year from this time last year. But one interesting insight is that COVID seems to have focused people in taking extra care of themselves from a preventive standpoint. Year to date, we're seeing a meaningful increase in patient visits compared to same time last year. It's still early in the year but this may suggest to us that people are seeing their care provider not only on an as-needed basis but also for preventive purposes, which is a very, very good trend indeed.

SH: The company says it’s helping solve one of healthcare’s biggest challenges – shortage of primary care practitioners. How so?

RDV: Absolutely Dave, as we all know, primary care is critical to better health, mainly because of it's preventive focus. The sooner an ailment is diagnosed, and a proactive treatment plan is put together, the patient can be on the road to better health sooner. Unfortunately, there is a shortage of primary care clinicians in the US. So, the goal in primary care is to prevent things from getting worse, especially (situations leading to) chronic illness, which as everyone knows, drives the overall cost of care for the system. Because of this shortage in primary care physicians in the US, it's driving tremendous pressure down the line, right? Not just in primary care, but also chronic care. Now this situation results in long wait times. For example, for primary care appointments, the average wait time for a family doctor appointment is 32 days in the US and in rural areas, it is 40 days.

This is not a good thing. As things get progressively worse the situation actually might not be corrected sooner. Our solution is to leverage our integrated digital technology (because everything is in one place) to enable and empower (at least, at this time) Advanced Practice Nurses to deliver primary care. Now these nurse practitioners are qualified by virtue of their higher education and are allowed practice independently (currently) in about 25 states. In much the same way as a family doctor, they can diagnose, treat, and prescribe independently. Now there are another 15 odd states where nurse practitioners can practice independently with what's called a collaborating physician. So, we believe we now have great solution to help address the shortage in primary care, our digital technology in the hands of nurse practitioners in particular, and focused but not limited to underserved areas. So, our current focus on NPs is also what makes us unique. Members of our network use our integrated digital care platform, as well as our back-end services in their practice, all this in one package. So, they don't need to think about technology and all the backend stuff; they can focus mainly on taking care of their patients. Now everyone is on a single platform, which means consistent data and information, which really payers and insurers here and the U.S. want and need.

SH: You’ve recently announced that you’ve been awarded a new contract for disability assessments for U.S. veterans. This may be news to many investors. Can you unpack the benefits of it?

RDV: Sure. There is a significant backlog in medical exams for military veterans. Those who return from active duty with a disability. We put out a press release on this recently. We expect to conduct about 20,000 disability assessments at full ramp. Again, this initiative helps address the backlog and is also a nice source of re-occurring revenue for our members, as well as for Care Span.

SH: The Company looks set for strong growth in 2022. How are you placed to expand operations to meet demand?

RDV: Great question. There are several important basic elements that have to be in place but I believe growth in our business requires at least these top three things. First, our technology platform and supporting operations infrastructure should delight our users. So, we should be a no-fault system. Outstanding execution in technology and operations is critical. Second, focusing on what I call high-quality business opportunities, not just anything that comes along but those (opportunities) that will bring recurring and/or re-occurring revenue to the business. Third (and this may sound like a cliché) but a really great team that is singularly focused and motivated by our mission, working effectively with our ecosystem of partners. I truly believe, Dave, we have all these three elements in place to drive strong growth going forward.

SH: For company shareholders and potential investors, what kind of future revenue generators can we expect from the company?

RDV: Sure. Our business model is very simple. There are three main sources of revenue for Care Span Health that we can scale. First is recurring SaaS revenue driven by the number of providers as well as patients using the platform. Currently this is very strong, steady, and recurring. And this will grow as we grow the number of providers and patients on the platform. So that's number one. Second is revenue from value added capabilities. This is the equally-exciting part of the value proposition, mainly for remote patient monitoring. So monitoring diabetes or COPD, et cetera, so that things don't go wrong as time passe; the consistent constant monitoring of patients. This for us is really high-margin, high-quality revenue that is also recurring and, from a clinical perspective, truly helps drive better health outcomes. Third is incremental revenue from payer contracts. We just talked about the medical assessment engagement with the U.S. military veterans as a good example of this. We are now in multiple discussions with payers who can bring in our provider networks and our technology to (basically) manage the health of their members.

SH: What separates CareSpan from the immediate competition and makes your business model unique?

RDV: Yes, Dave, players in our space, generally fall under one of three main categories. First are those players who are focused on the electronic health record; so managing the information of a patient. Second, there are those who play in the telemedicine or virtual care technology space (and you can name many familiar names and that's their focus). And the third big category are those companies that focus mainly on remote patient monitoring; using digital devices to monitor health markers for patients. Care Span is architected and operates in an integrated manner. We cover all these capabilities in one platform, the electronic health record, remote patient monitoring and virtual care. Everything is in one place. The care provider does not have to cobble together multiple technologies. We have done the integration for them seamlessly. This is what makes our technology unique.

SH: I have to mention your stock has been on a bit of a roller coaster ride since you went public. What can you tell our investor audience regarding the current valuation of your stock and why you think it’s a good buy right now?

RDV: Yes, I actually think that we need to tell our story much better from hereon in and I hope this helps do that. I think this would be an excellent time to invest in a company that has a lot of upside in a great industry. I think we check a number of important boxes for the investor. First, we are in an industry that's relatively recession-resistant healthcare. Second, we are focused on a space where the opportunity is massive – the shortage and primary care in the U.S. Our company is geared towards helping solve this large systemic supply-demand gap. Third, we have a differentiated and validated business model. We've shown revenue. We've shown that this works. We are generating high quality revenue today and are now geared to scale. Finally, our people. I cannot be more proud of the team we have assembled. We have a very strong team that has deep U.S. healthcare experience and a solid track record; as well as Board members who have had stellar careers and deep expertise in healthcare and finance.

SH: What’s the long-term strategy for the company moving forward and what should retail and institutional investors really be looking out for?

RDV: Yes. Thank you, Dave. Good question. Our strategy is to focus on what has worked and, at the same time, continue to innovate and add solution components to our platform, and expand our reach. We are at the point where our business strategies and plans are focused on scaling the business: from market development, to technology, to operations. We have a unique and compelling business model with our integrated digital care technology, as well as our focus on (independent) Nurse Practitioners. But we know we just won't stop with nurse practitioners. And our goal is to continue to execute well and delight our customers and users, whoever they may be.

SH: Can you tell our audience a little bit about your corporate management team – including the additions of Thomas Astle and James Becker as new board members?

RDV: Of course, Dave. Dr. Terry Knapp, our founder, and Chief Medical Officer, as is also a board member has had a long career and strong track record in healthcare innovation. Adriane Robinson joined us as Chief Operating Officer of Care Span Integrated Networks, and is a seasoned clinical operations executive. Doug Wolfgram, our CTO, has very deep digital technology experience and expertise.

On the board side, we are also very fortunate to have attracted the great board. John Reardon, our Chairman is well-known in the industry and is a seasoned digital healthcare executive and investor. Holger Micheel-Sprenger is CEO of one of the most reputable healthcare advisory organizations in Europe. Jim and Tom Astle also joined us recently, as you noted. Jim is well-known in healthcare circles in the U.S. He ran multi-billion-dollar businesses units at United health and Optum. Tom Astle is the only non-healthcare board member and he provides the all-important perspective in the areas of finance and capital markets. Finally, by the way, I'd like to mention that Dr. Karim Jessa, who is the Chief Medical Information Officer of Toronto Sick Kids, is also an advisor to the company.

SH: And finally, Rembert, if there’s anything I’ve overlooked please feel free to elaborate.

RDV: No, Dave, I think you've asked excellent questions. I've really enjoyed the conversation and the opportunity to tell our story and I hope I was able to provide some relevant insight on the business to your viewers. We're extremely excited about the future. Thank you, Dave.

For regular updates, visit www.carespanhealth.com.


FULL DISCLOSURE: This is a paid article produced by Stockhouse Publishing.

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