One of the biggest and most active home health and hospice technology partners is taking its rapidly growing business in a new direction.
Lenexa, Kansas-based Mediware Information Systems, Inc., a portfolio company of TPG Capital, announced Tuesday it’s rebranding as WellSky. In doing so, the company is effectively merging more than 30 unique health care and human services brands under a single, easily recognized name.
“We want to make sure people know who we are, and we don’t want to be perceived as a house of brands,” WellSky CEO Bill Miller told Home Health Care News. “We want to be one company that has really intelligent care management platforms.”
Founded in 1980, WellSky and its 1,100 employees serve more than 10,000 customer sites worldwide, including hospital systems, blood banks, government agencies, human services organizations, home health providers and hospice agencies. Outside the United States, WellSky currently has operations in Canada, Ireland, Britain, South Africa, Holland and a handful of other countries.
In addition to the name change, WellSky will also adopt a new logo and invest nearly $50 million in research and development projects. That R&D spending will largely focus on boosting analytics capabilities, strengthening security efforts and further developing engineering and coding talent, according to Miller.
“We’ve been strong in analytics historically, but we’re going to get even stronger,” said Miller, who previously served as CEO of OptumInsight at Optum, a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group. “And technology companies are targets of attacks, so we’ve got to continue to be vigilant, particularly as we work with more data with our clients.”
Besides one or two exceptions, nearly all of Mediware’s products and business lines have immediately transitioned to the new WellSky name.
Home health, hospice driving WellSky growth
WellSky, then Mediware, began a concerted push into the home health and hospice market last year, signified by the acquisition of Kinnser Software. That push toward home health and hospice has continued in 2018 through a string of strategic moves, including deals for MEDTranDirect, Rock-Pond and BlueStrata.
It also includes a July deal for Fazzi Associates, a firm that provides consulting and other services to more than 1,400 home health and hospice industries across the U.S.
Focusing on the home health and hospice markets is starting to pay off in a major way, Miller said.
“Of all our businesses, home health and hospice are definitely in the top three of our fastest growing segments,” Miller said. “Our home hospice business is growing phenomenally. I think we have a great market position with home health and hospice that has continued to expand, literally quarter-by-quarter.”
Over the last 12 trailing months, WellSky revenue has totaled about $260 million, according to Miller, adding that EBITDA has exceeded $110 million. Thanks to “low double-digit” growth rates, WellSky projects to see revenue upwards of $300 million over the next year as well.
Likewise, WellSky reoccurring revenue has climbed from 79% to 85% over the past year or so.
“We’ve grown dramatically pretty recently,” Miller said. “More care is being delivered in ancillary care settings and by state agencies. That trend is increasing, either because of the silver tsunami or the fact that getting care in your home, getting care in a rehab center, an infusion center or in a blood center — all places where we operate every day — can sometimes actually drive better outcomes at lower costs.”
Mediware was formerly a public company under the stock ticker MEDW, but it went private in 2012. TPG Capital, its private equity backer with more than $84 billion of assets under management, also owns a substantial stake in the nation’s largest home health provider, Kindred at Home.
Apart from the rebranding, WellSky is in the midst of opening a new world headquarters in Overland Park, Kansas. The new facility is expected to open next June.
WellSky stays nimble to face regulatory challenges
As a company, WellSky derives much of its success from the breadth of its assorted subsidiaries and brands. It also boasts a broad collection of health care provider partners, including Sutter Health, Stanford School of Medicine and Cleveland Clinic, among many others.
More than 4,500 home health agencies use WellSky’s solutions, according to the company. Its home health solutions target offline point of care, electronic visit verification, hospitalization risk management, business intelligence, home health therapy, claims tools, along with OASIS review and coding.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, as revenue has increased, so too have WellSky’s dealings.
WellSky typically strikes about 250 deals per month, Miller said. The average deal size across the past year has grown by about 24%.
Moving forward, WellSky hopes to continue its recent success by supporting home-based providers as they respond to today’s complex regulatory climate tied to the Patient-Driven Groupings Model, value-based purchasing and other alterative payment models.
“Our technology is built in a way that we can respond quickly to regulatory changes and demands and, quite frankly, that’s one of the reasons why we have grown our market share,” Miller said.
Written by Robert Holly