With more people than ever taking advantage of remote healthcare opportunities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, telemedicine company Reliq Health Technologies Inc. (RHT:TSX.V; RQHTF:OTCQB; A2AJTB:WKN) is finding itself in the perfect position.
Reliq is reaching more patients than ever with its remote patient monitoring and virtual care platform now that internet-enabled care is becoming more accepted. Government and private insurance plans have expanded their coverage of the services, allowing more doctors to look for remote solutions.
It’s all part of a shift pushing more care to peoples’ homes instead of doctors’ offices and hospitals, when possible.
Many big-name health companies are jumping in. CVS Health earlier this month announced that it will acquire home health care company Signify Health for US$8 billion.
The deal “highlights continued disruption in the industry,” wrote The Chartis Group’s research analyst Floyd Pitts, Director Mark Krivopal, Chief Innovation Officer and Digital Leader Tom Kiesau, and Principal Ryan Bertram in a September 9, 2022 blog post on the healthcare advisory firm’s website.
“Health systems would do well to consider how they are positioned to deliver care at home as an integrated part of their care models,” the group wrote.
U.S. healthcare costs topped US$4 trillion in 2020, and chronic conditions accounted for more than 80% of that, the company said. Reliq’s iUGO cloud-based software platform allows patients to manage those chronic conditions more easily at home, leading to fewer complications, emergency room visits, and readmissions, according to Reliq Chief Executive Officer Lisa Crossley.
“All indicators are that this sector is going to continue to develop in ways that are very, very positive for our company and really support very strong growth for us,” Crossley said.
Patients are “generally left to their own devices in the home to manage these complex chronic conditions,” Crossley told Streetwise Reports. “A lot of them are taking multiple medications, and less than 50% of them are taking them as prescribed. Our software platform allows (doctors) to collect data in the home.”
At home, patients use approachable technology as part of the platform, including cellular-enabled glucometers, blood pressure cuffs, and scales.
Reliq expects to have as many as 100,000 patients on its platform by the end of the year. It recently signed new contracts, including one with a physician practice network in Florida that will bring 50,000 patients onto the platform by the end of 2023. Each patient is expected to generate an average revenue of US$60 per patient per month at a 75% gross margin, the company said.
The average practice can generate new revenue of more than US$400 per patient per month with the platform, while paying US$40-US$100 per patient per month to subscribe to iUGO.
Reliq expects to have as many as 100,000 patients on its platform by the end of the year.
Reliq also does the pre-screening and pre-authorizations with Medicare and Medicaid and electronic submissions for payment.
Medicare has increased the number of billing codes used for telemedicine by 2,000%, Crossley said, and reimbursement has increased by 600%.
“All indicators are that this sector is going to continue to develop in ways that are very, very positive for our company and really support very strong growth for us,” Crossley said. “Clinicians can make significantly more money. And then for the payers, Medicare and Medicaid, they can save … healthcare costs associated with a typical chronic disease patient by just preventing those really expensive hospitalizations.”
Pandemic Has Changed Scene
The scene has changed drastically because of the pandemic since the company first started working with patients in 2018. At the time, Medicare had only just introduced its first billing code for remote patient monitoring.
The government has “really been progressive and proactive about funding this preventative approach to care,” Crossley said.
Diseases the company aims to manage at home include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), congestive heart failure, diabetes, and hypertension. Patients get audible reminders to step on a scale, take their blood pressure, or prick their fingers for glucose monitoring. The information is automatically uploaded to the cloud.
Congestive heart failure, for instance, can be caught early and prevent permanent damage.
“Interventions in the home make a huge difference in this population in terms of long-term healthcare,” Crossley said.
The CVS deal helps underscore how these shifting patterns of care coverage will affect populations, especially seniors, the Chartis Group blog said.
“This growing market segment is prompting changes within an increasingly complex and competitive landscape, with implications for healthcare organizations across the spectrum,” they wrote. “New energy will be required to develop the right strategies and capabilities to effectively serve evolving consumer needs within the all-important senior population — which is likely to have increasing choice in how and where they access and receive care and manage their health.”
Shareholders and Share Structure
Top shareholders include Crossley, who owns 1.53% or 2.89 million shares; Penserra Capital Management LLC, which owns 0.21% or 0.39 million shares; and Eugene Beukman, who owns 0.12% or 0.23 million shares, according to Reuters.
The company has 189.4 million shares outstanding with 186.1 million of them free-floating. It has a market cap of CA$96.58 million and trades in a 52-week range of CA$1.33 and CA$0.36.
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1) Steve Sobek wrote this article for Streetwise Reports LLC and provides services to Streetwise Reports. He or members of his household own securities of the following companies mentioned in the article: None. He or members of his household are paid by the following companies mentioned in this article: None.
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