Struggling rural hospitals face financial pain amidst the coronavirus outbreak. Revenue has been lost as elective procedures have been canceled since patients can’t safely visit in person for fear of being infected or spreading the disease. As a result, rural communities may lose access to critical care as the pandemic progresses.
Rural residents hurt
The financial and operational pressures on rural healthcare facilities can leave patients who are displaying COVID-19 symptoms or require ongoing care for chronic conditions with limited access to critical care, especially considering many rural residents live more than 30 miles away from the nearest hospital. Plus, rural populations are often more vulnerable to severe to serious outcomes with COVID-19. Compared to urban populations, rural Americans:
Are older: More than 20% of the population in completely rural counties are ages 65+, according to U.S. census data, compared to around 15% in mostly urban centers.
Have higher rates of: obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cigarette smoking
Have increased mortality rates from: heart disease, cancer, lower respiratory disease, stroke, and unintentional injuries.
Technology must be used to solve the problem
Mobile, Alabama-based healthcare technology company CPSI understands the challenges facing rural hospitals and clinics, so the company is providing a free telehealth portal so doctors can continue to provide quality care.
While telehealth regulations were quickly changed amidst COVID-19, allowing providers to be reimbursed at $220 per remote appointment instead of at $13, telemedicine is not a reality for cash-strapped rural hospitals that:
Lack the technological infrastructure and resources required to implement telemedicine
Require a highly secure, HIPAA-compliant platform (Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams are not secure options)
Need a platform that operates smoothly on low-bandwidth connectivity, common in rural areas
Treat patients who don’t have computers or webcam capabilities
Rural hospitals need an affordable, secure, easy-to-use telehealth platform that can be set up in hours, not months, to give their patients quality care while allowing them to tap into a desperately needed revenue stream that could help them stay afloat. They need CPSI’s turnkey telehealth solution: Talk With Your Doc.
CPSI, a community healthcare solutions company, announces that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Get Real Health. Based in Rockville, Maryland, Get Real Health delivers technology solutions to improve patient outcomes and engagement strategies with care providers. Their broad set of cutting-edge products have garnered awards for the company and its clients and earned them a reputation as a vanguard in the healthcare information technology (IT) industry.
Get Real Health has established a presence in both domestic and international healthcare markets. Collaborating with organizations like TELUS Health, the University Hospital Southampton NHS Trust and KeyHIE, Get Real Health delivers solutions to government and private organizations in Europe, Canada, Australia and the United States.
In addition, earlier this month, Get Real Health launched its latest product, Lydia, when it was identified by Microsoft as a destination for HealthVault users to transition their existing data after the pending retirement of HealthVault. Lydia is a trusted place where people can organize, store and share their health information with family and healthcare providers.
“The demographics and population make-up of the communities we serve support the growing demand for strategies and tools to address the on-going management of chronic care conditions, which are prevalent in these areas,” said Boyd Douglas, president and chief executive officer of CPSI. “Helping our customers secure the future of community healthcare is what we focus on each and every day. By acquiring Get Real Health, we can continue this effort as providers evolve to a value-based care delivery model.”
Get Real Health’s line of innovative patient-facing products will complement CPSI’s existing offerings. CPSI acute and ambulatory customers will be able to use InstantPHR and CHBase to engage their patients in a much deeper way than traditional patient portals. The company’s Ellie app will allow CPSI customers to improve their patients’ health outcomes while strengthening their own bottom lines. Get Real Health also brings a decade’s worth of international business experience and connections, opening potential new markets for CPSI’s existing offerings. Conversely, CPSI’s greater resources and capabilities will help Get Real Health scale to serve existing and new customers and markets.
CPSI anticipates that this acquisition will yield approximately $1.0 million in annual cost synergies, primarily from the replacement of CPSI’s existing patient engagement solutions. Additionally, the acquisition is expected to be accretive to Adjusted EBITDA for 2019.
Robin Wiener, president, chief executive officer and founding partner of Get Real Health, said: “When we met the CPSI management team, there was an instant realization that we could do something amazing together. In addition to the opportunity to bring our solutions to hundreds of communities across the United States already serviced by CPSI, we will continue to empower patients around the world.”
The contemplated total aggregate consideration to be paid by CPSI is $11 million, payable in cash, subject to certain adjustments at and after closing, as provided for in the purchase agreement, plus an earn-out payment of up to a maximum of $14 million, depending on the EBITDA performance of Get Real Health during 2019. The completion of the transaction is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, and is targeted to close in the second quarter of 2019.
To finance the transaction, CPSI will use a draw of approximately $11 million under its existing senior secured revolving credit facility.