A giant in the post-acute software and tech world is about to get much larger, driven by a push to break down the barriers between various settings in post-acute care.
PointClickCare Technologies on Tuesday announced its pending acquisition of care coordination software firm Collective Medical, cementing a relationship between the two companies that began in August 2019.
The firms did not formally disclose the terms of the transaction, though Business Insider — which initially reported the deal — pegged the price tag at slightly under $650 million.
Both sides touted the combined company’s ability to streamline communication between operators along the post-acute care continuum, as well as Medicare Advantage plans, accountable care organizations (ACOs), and hospitals.
“The health care ecosystem is a mix of disconnected providers, systems, plans, processes, and data,” PointClickCare CEO Mike Wessinger said in a statement. “Health care costs and risk are on the rise, while patient care and provider-to-provider coordination are inconsistent.”
PCC is a major player in the nursing home space, with 21,000 skilled nursing, senior living, and home health care providers using the Mississauga, Ontario-based company’s software.
“There is near-perfect alignment between Collective Medical and PointClickCare given our shared values and mission to support vulnerable populations,” Chris Klomp, Collective’s CEO, said in the same statement. “We are thrilled to join forces with PointClickCare to expand our network even faster as we work to connect health care at scale and ensure no patient slips through the cracks of an otherwise fragmented care continuum.”
Backed with tens of millions in funding from venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, among others, Collective Medical currently maintains a network of 1,300 hospitals across 39 states, along with nursing homes and private health plans.
The Tuesday deal caps off a post-acute push for Collective that began only within the last few years — and as something of an experiment. The firm entered the skilled nursing market on what it called a “sponsorship model,” not charging operators for its services, chief medical officer Benjamin Zaniello told SNN in 2018.
“We took a fair amount of a gamble deciding to invest in post-acute, and using the sponsorship model, and I think we are now seeing the benefit of having done so,” Zaniello said. “We’re the largest national care collaboration network, and we believe that as we bring on each node, they will strengthen the rest of the network.”
For skilled nursing facilities, Collective’s tech has brought substantial benefits: Marquis Companies, for instance, in 2018 reported readmission declines of 60% after using the firm’s patient-tracking software.
In particular, Marquis took advantage of a feature that alerted the Milwaukie, Ore.-based post-acute provider whenever a former resident showed up at a number of area hospitals. This allowed Marquis to intervene, when possible, without the patient being formally readmitted to the hospital.
The general lack of information about what happens to residents once they leave a given care setting remains a pressing problem for operators up and down the acuity spectrum. Nursing facility operators also face penalties for not meeting certain hospital readmission benchmarks, further emphasizing the need for transpareency.
The COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated those dynamics, PointClickCare vice president and general manager of post-acute insights B.J. Boyle told SNN.
“More and more we see the industry as this collection of disconnected parts, where we’ve been looking at and investing in interoperability and integrated care coordination,” Boyle said. “Collective has played a really strong role in that.”
The variety of different health care tech solutions on the market has long been a barrier to the goal of full connectivity across settings. Despite PCC’s wide footprint in the marketplace, it competes with other post-acute software providers such as MatrixCare and AlayaCare; companies such as PatientPing offer similar notification services to nursing homes and home health agencies.
Boyle pointed to the existing relationship between PCC and Collective Medical as a jumping-off point for further growth: The two companies have already rolled out software integration at about 700 skilled nursing facilities since striking the initial partnership last summer.
“If you look at the connection points between the PointClickCare customer base and the Collective network, we were already impacting those that were connected and integrated, and we see this as a way to help the skilled nursing facility providers be able to manage how that data is flowing across each venue,” he said.
Boyle also positioned the deal as a way to better manage transitions of care between sites, a common stumbling point for both operators and patients that can lead to confusion, patient dissatisfaction, and serious medical issues if handled incorrectly.
“Too many outcomes are negative as a result of poor transitions of care, poor visibility … fundamentally, our vision is to improve that,” Boyle said.
That dynamic could only become more important as seniors increasingly look to spend more time at home and less time in institutional settings — a trend that was already accelerating before nursing facilities became the national epicenter of COVID-19 infections and deaths.
“More and more we see that it’s not necessarily about the venue, the four walls where you’re receiving care,” Boyle said. “It’s about the person.”