15 Apr Seven Insights on the Healthcare Industry from our Recent Roundtable
By John Patterson, Managing Director and Healthcare Industry Team Leader and Marc Gondek, Director, Investment Banking
For the past month, my Amherst colleagues and I have been busy hosting regular video roundtable discussions with diverse groups of professionals including lenders, attorneys, private equity professionals, insurance experts, corporate executives, and other business advisors.
These insights emerged from a recent healthcare-focused session and should be germane to anyone with an interest in the challenges and opportunities the COVID-19 pandemic is presenting for this industry.
- Telehealth has moved ahead warp speed to meet the continuing needs of patients to interact with medical and mental health professionals. In the matter of a few weeks, some health care providers with no telehealth presence are now completing more than half of their patient encounters remotely. While the telehealth share of total visits might decline once the COVID-19 crisis is over, the value of the solution in the delivery of care is now unquestioned. Expect it to be an important element of the delivery solution for most, if not all, providers.
- Challenges facing multi-state health care operations are exacerbated by widely varying changes to existing state laws and regulations made in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Post-crisis, these disparities will need to be resolved to facilitate more efficient operations and delivery of care.
- Deals to increase capacity, such as hospitals buying hotels, reopening shuttered facilities or repurposing non-acute care assets, are happening in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.
- In many regions of the U.S., cooperation is increasing among competing health care providers to address the immediate health needs of the populations within their catchment areas.
- For businesses that have temporarily closed or where workers are working remotely, addressing the health care concerns of employees, both physical and mental, will be key for companies restarting operations. Ongoing safety concerns and lingering mental health issues need to be recognized and dealt with from the top down.
- Investment bankers, lenders and quality of earnings providers continue to wrestle with how to analyze and characterize the impact of COVID-19. What is a temporary phenomenon versus a re-basing is still to be determined.
- PE groups and lenders are focused internally on their existing portfolios. For PEGs, unless something is very far along in the process and right down the middle of the fairway thematically, deals will be delayed or terminated. Many lenders, while saying publicly that they’re open for business, are clearly laser-focused on their existing lending relationships and assisting companies with accessing the various federal assistance programs, resulting in less capacity for new loans.
If you would like to discuss any of these issues in more depth, or if you would be interested in participating in a future roundtable, please feel free to contact me.