Anthem, Inc. (NYSE:ANTM) today announced that the company has entered into an agreement to acquire Aspire Health, the nation’s largest non-hospice, community-based palliative care provider.
“Anthem is focused on enhancing our ability to offer innovative, integrated clinical care models that can improve the quality of healthcare and deliver better outcomes,” said Gail K. Boudreaux, President and CEO, Anthem. “Aspire Health shares our perspective on the increasingly important role of integrated care and has built a unique model that provides palliative care and support services for patients and their families. With the addition of Aspire Health to Anthem’s other clinical care assets such as CareMore Health and AIM, we will be able to offer our consumers, customers, and other health plan and provider partners a broader array of programs and services that meet their diverse needs and drive future growth opportunities for our company.”
Aspire currently provides services under contracts with more than 20 health plans to consumers in 25 states. The company uses proprietary predictive clinical and claims-based patient algorithms to identify patients with a serious illness who may benefit from an extra layer of support. Once patients are identified, Aspire assigns a comprehensive care team that includes physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers and chaplains. The team works in an integrated approach to address symptom management, patient-family communication, advance care planning and to coordinate care with other medical professionals including primary care, specialty care and in-home care providers. The company also offers 24-7 support to patients, including nurse practitioner home visits any time if necessary.
Aspire was founded in 2013 by former U.S. Senator and physician William Frist and Brad Smith, who serves as Chief Executive Officer of the company.
“Several studies have repeatedly demonstrated how advanced illness programs can provide high patient and family satisfaction, reduce hospitalization, and decrease costs,” said Smith. “As part of Anthem, we believe we will be able to further scale our model and positively impact the lives of even more consumers and families, making home-based advanced illness care available to patients who need it.”
Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter of 2018 and is subject to standard closing conditions and customary approvals required under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act. The transaction is expected to be neutral to earnings in 2018 and accretive to earnings in 2019.
About Anthem, Inc.
Anthem is working to transform health care with trusted and caring solutions. Our health plan companies deliver quality products and services that give their members access to the care they need. With over 74 million people served by its affiliated companies, including nearly 40 million within its family of health plans, Anthem is one of the nation’s leading health benefits companies. For more information about Anthem’s family of companies, please visit www.antheminc.com/companies.
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Such statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and generally beyond our control, that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied or projected by, the forward-looking statements. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements that speak only as of the date hereof. You are also urged to carefully review and consider the various risks and other disclosures discussed in our reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time, which attempt to advise interested parties of the factors that affect our business. Except to the extent otherwise required by federal securities laws, we do not undertake any obligation to republish revised forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: the impact of federal and state regulation, including ongoing changes in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, as amended, or collectively the ACA; trends in healthcare costs and utilization rates; our ability to contract with providers on cost-effective and competitive terms; our ability to secure sufficient premium rates including regulatory approval for and implementation of such rates; reduced enrollment; risks and uncertainties regarding Medicare and Medicaid programs, including those related to non-compliance with the complex regulations imposed thereon, our ability to maintain and achieve improvement in Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, Star ratings and other quality scores and funding risks with respect to revenue received from participation therein; competitive pressures, including competitor pricing, which could affect our ability to maintain or increase our market share; a negative change in our healthcare product mix; our ability to adapt to changes in the industry and develop and implement strategic growth opportunities; costs and other liabilities associated with litigation, government investigations, audits or reviews; the ultimate outcome of litigation between Cigna Corporation, or Cigna, and us related to the merger agreement between the parties, including our claim for damages against Cigna, Cigna’s claim for payment of a termination fee and other damages against us, and the potential for such litigation to cause us to incur substantial costs, materially distract management and negatively impact our reputation and financial positions; medical malpractice or professional liability claims or other risks related to healthcare services provided by our subsidiaries; possible restrictions in the payment of dividends by our subsidiaries and increases in required minimum levels of capital; the potential negative effect from our substantial amount of outstanding indebtedness; a downgrade in our financial strength ratings; the effects of any negative publicity related to the health benefits industry in general or us in particular; unauthorized disclosure of member or employee sensitive or confidential information, including the impact and outcome of any investigations, inquiries, claims and litigation related thereto; failure to effectively maintain and modernize our information systems; non-compliance by any party with the Express Scripts, Inc. pharmacy benefit management services agreement, which could result in financial penalties, our inability to meet customer demands, and sanctions imposed by governmental entities, including CMS; state guaranty fund assessments for insolvent insurers; events that may negatively affect our licenses with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association; regional concentrations of our business and future public health epidemics and catastrophes; general risks associated with mergers, acquisitions and strategic alliances; our ability to repurchase shares of our common stock and pay dividends on our common stock due to the adequacy of our cash flow and earnings and other considerations; possible impairment of the value of our intangible assets if future results do not adequately support goodwill and other intangible assets; changes in economic and market conditions, as well as regulations that may negatively affect our liquidity and investment portfolios; changes in U.S. tax laws; intense competition to attract and retain employees; various laws and provisions in our governing documents that may prevent or discourage takeovers and business combinations; and general economic downturns.
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We are thrilled to announce that Nuno Sebastiao has joined Oak HC/FT as a Senior Advisor to the FinTech team. Nuno will support our team as they continue to identify and invest in companies that are positioned for accelerated growth.
As Co-Founder and CEO of Feedzai, an existing Oak HC/FT portfolio company, Nuno is a recognized leader in artificial intelligence and machine learning. With his experience and expertise, Nuno will provide guidance on vital trends and patterns in AI and machine learning, which are significant drivers of tech-enabled services in both FinTech and Healthcare today.
“We are proud to welcome Nuno to Oak HC/FT as a Senior Advisor and look forward to collaborating with him in new, exciting ways,” said Patricia Kemp, Co-Founder & General Partner at Oak HC/FT. “As artificial intelligence and machine learning continue to drive the fintech sector, I am confident that Nuno’s unparalleled experience and insights will prove invaluable to our team.”
“Since joining the Oak HC/FT family in 2015, I have been able to experience the successful, hands-on partnerships they create with entrepreneurs and portfolio companies,” said Nuno Sebastiao. “In this new partnership at the firm, I look forward to working closely with the entire team and leveraging my experience as a CEO to help other entrepreneurs ready to execute their visions.”
Since founding Feedzai in 2010, Nuno and his team have used cutting edge machine learning techniques to create the world’s most robust risk management platforms, empowering enterprises like Capital One, First Data and Citibank to fight fraud in real-time. Feedzai is a constant presence in leading industry rankings such as Forbes Fintech 50, Europe Tech 50 and IQT Most Innovative AI Startups. Nuno is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Digital Leaders and Forbes Fintech Council and has been named London Business School’s Entrepreneur of the Year and number one on Exame Magazine’s 40 under 40 leaders.
Nuno’s appointment follows exciting additions to the Oak HC/FT team this year, including Billy Deitch, who joined the Healthcare team as Principal, and Dan Petrozzo, who joined the FinTech team as Venture Partner.
Okay, it has only been three weeks. But it’s love nevertheless.
Based in San Francisco (my home for nearly a decade), I joined Oak HC/FT to help immerse the firm even deeper in the west coast entrepreneurial community. All day long, I get to think and talk about innovative ways to improve the wellbeing of millions of Americans. Sure, like in any job, there are frustrations and fatigue. But what fundamentally gets me out of bed every day is that I’m constantly learning. Learning about new technology, about new business models, and about new approaches to solving problems that truly matter – it’s a really fun way to earn a living.
As I begin my new role at Oak HC/FT, I wanted to share some of my own perspectives on the healthcare market and what I expect we may see in the coming year.
Companies being created today will save healthcare in the United States. We all know the reality that the US spends far more on healthcare than any other high-income country while providing consumers with a materially worse level of care. Meanwhile, it is crystal clear that the federal government is too dysfunctional to be counted on to help solve these intractable problems. Fortunately for all of us, entrepreneurs are stepping up and attacking every nook and cranny of the healthcare ecosystem to improve quality and lower cost. It might be dramatic, but it’s not an understatement to say that our future depends on their success.
The capital raising environment may become a bit more circumspect than it has been in the past. Despite record levels of venture capital fundraising and sky high asset prices, I have recently had multiple conversations with entrepreneurs who have begun to appreciate the risks associated with maxing out valuation in early funding rounds. While a big valuation reduces dilution and creates sexy headlines, it also increases the risk of down rounds if execution isn’t perfect (terrible for morale), makes attracting top talent difficult (limited equity upside), and makes exits more challenging to achieve (impossible to generate a satisfactory return). As an investor, I’ll admit it behooves me to highlight this, but I personally know of several unicorn companies that regret raising at peak valuations and I expect entrepreneurs to increasingly put less emphasis on headline price.
Tax reform is already beginning to impact behavior. Strategics – both traditional healthcare players and pureplay tech companies – are going to be flush with cash in 2018 thanks to corporate tax cuts. This isn’t breaking news of course, but I am surprised to hear the degree to which senior HR executives have told me the purse strings on their 2018 budgets had been loosened. As a result, I expect innovative healthcare solutions selling to large employers to see an uptick in adoption as their customers look to put dollars to work. Furthermore, M&A coiffeurs will grow and fuel more deal activity, particularly large transactions that move the needle.
Speaking of regulation and reform, the future of ACA remains as uncertain as ever. After the failure of “repeal and replace,” the Trump administration has embarked on a death-by-a-thousand-cuts strategy against the ACA, the deepest of which was the repeal of the individual mandate via last month’s tax bill. While enrollment for 2018 only declined slightly from the prior year, the longer-term sustainability of Obamacare is totally unclear and won’t be for several months. Predicting what will happen has become so difficult that the topic rarely even comes up in conversation, largely because there isn’t much more you can do than shrug your shoulders.
Nevertheless, this lack of clarity does not appear to be doing anything to stifle innovation and enthusiasm in the sector. There is so much we don’t know about what will happen in 2018. Will the ACA survive? Will blockchain find a sustainable use case? How will this week’s partnership announcement by J.P. Morgan, Amazon, and Berkshire Hathaway play out (and will other large tech companies follow with big bets of their own)? The answers to these and a host of other questions are unknown, but it is encouraging that this uncertainty has not deterred entrepreneurs from searching for big ideas. The amount of ingenuity our team witnessed at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference last month was almost overwhelming – and incredibly exciting! At the end of the day, disruption in a market is a great thing for both entrepreneurs and investors. And let me reiterate that Oak HC/FT cannot wait to partner with the companies that see clarity through this confusion.
With that in mind, let me issue an invitation: if you find yourself in San Francisco (or LA, Phoenix, Seattle, Portland, Denver, Salt Lake, Austin, or anywhere else west of the Mississippi!), please do drop me a note. I look forward to learning from you!
Strategic investment positions AXA to accelerate its payer-to-partner strategy
Maestro Health, a leading all-in employee health and benefits company, today announced it has taken a major step forward in its strategy to make health and benefits people-friendly again. Maestro Health will join forces with AXA Group and continue to empower people in the U.S. and abroad to live better lives. Together, they will take steps to transform the U.S. healthcare market by simplifying and personalizing how people shop, enroll and live with their health benefits.
The move comes at a tipping point in the U.S. healthcare market as cost, complexity and consumer engagement come to the forefront—inspiring the changing landscape of industry players. AXA’s acquisition of Maestro Health and its all-in benefits platform, maestroEDGE™, supports AXA’s payer-to-partner strategy in line with its “Ambition 2020” corporate initiative. Once the acquisition is final, Maestro Health will maintain its identity, mission and team, while operating as a wholly-owned subsidiary of AXA.
“Not only is this the optimal step into the next phase of Maestro Health’s history, it’s also the ideal partnership to reinforce our all-in, continuum of care model—and ultimately transform healthcare as we know it today. With the scale and resources of one of the most recognizable brands in the world, we are well positioned to expedite our mission to lower healthcare costs, reduce complexity and empower the consumer more than ever before,” said Rob Butler, CEO and Founder, Maestro Health. “It was critical for us to maintain our culture, brand and innovative identity, yet find a true partner with the unique combination of AXA’s scale, like-mindedness and industry prowess—a synergy that can appeal to all of our current customers and channel partners.”
With AXA, Maestro Health customers will see enhancements in their experience and access to leading product offerings. Additionally, Maestro Health will continue to focus on delivering new and improved solutions and services to the market, designed to further reduce healthcare costs and improve engagement for constituents across the entire continuum of care.
“We are excited about this strategic investment, which reflects the Group’s ambition to dedicate Euro 200 million per year towards innovation. It provides an attractive opportunity to build our presence in the U.S. healthcare market with a new business model that has the potential of improving healthcare quality for millions of employees,” said Guillaume Borie, Chief Innovation Officer, AXA. “Maestro Health has outstanding technology, assets and people, an agile organization and a close-knit culture, providing exciting prospects for our population health management strategy in the U.S. market and beyond.”
With its extensive health plan, care management, and benefits administration experience, Maestro Health has become known across the industry as ‘the most experienced startup.’ Founded in 2013, the company has worked with leading employers of all sizes, in addition to brokers and insurance carriers. Maestro Health currently serves more than 500 groups and 1 million lives on its maestroEDGE™ platform. With more than 300 employees, it has also been recognized with some of the industry’s most prestigious awards and accolades, including Great Places to Work Institute’s “Great Place to Work,” and ChicagoInno’s “Coolest Companies.” It was also named bronze winners in the American Business Awards “Most Innovative Company of the Year” and “Tech Startup of the Year.”
maestroEDGE™ is an all-in, technology-meets-service platform built to simplify, personalize and optimize how people shop, enroll and live with their benefits. The platform, which supports the entire continuum of care to treat the whole member, integrates Maestro Health’s owned and operated solutions across the complete benefits ecosystem. This enables Maestro Health to create an environment that empowers the consumer from the day they on-board at an organization through the entire year, to live healthier and better lives.
“Joining forces with AXA will undeniably make us a better and stronger company not only for our customers, but also for our employees,” added Rob Butler. “People and culture are at the core of what we do, and I am thrilled about this next chapter as it is the perfect long-term scenario to keep the team together and accomplish our mission in the U.S. healthcare market and beyond.”
Triple Tree acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Maestro Health for this transaction.
About Maestro Health™ Maestro Health makes employee health & benefits people-friendly again by delivering an all-in platform that meets todays needs of employers, employees, brokers and carriers. Maestro Health owns and operates six core solutions: (me)BENEFITS ADMIN 2.0™, (me)BENEFIT ACCOUNTS™, (me)SELF-FUNDED BENEFITS™, (me)PEOPLE MANAGEMENT™, (me)BILLING ADMIN™ and (me)ACA SERVICES™. The flexible solutions are designed and unified on a tech-meets-service platform so customers can customize their own HR suite based on what works best for their organization’s unique needs—all to optimize and simplify the way employees and employers shop, enroll and live with their benefits.
About AXA The AXA Group is a worldwide leader in insurance and asset management, with 165,000 employees serving 107 million clients in 64 countries. In 2016, IFRS revenues amounted to Euro 100.2 billion and IFRS underlying earnings to Euro 5.7 billion. AXA had Euro 1,429 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2016.
The AXA ordinary share is listed on compartment A of Euronext Paris under the ticker symbol CS (ISN FR 0000120628 – Bloomberg: CS FP – Reuters: AXAF.PA). AXA’s American Depository Share is also quoted on the OTC QX platform under the ticker symbol AXAHY.
The AXA Group is included in the main international SRI indexes, such as Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) and FTSE4GOOD.
It is a founding member of the UN Environment Programme’s Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Principles for Sustainable Insurance and a signatory of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment.
Annie Lamont, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, and Patricia Kemp, Co-Founder and General Partner of Oak HC/FT, have been jointly named to Institutional Investor’s prestigious “FinTech Finance 40,” a list of top players in fintech investing.
“We are honored to have been recognized by Institutional Investor for our accomplishments in FinTech investing,” says Lamont and Kemp. “As it says on our website, ‘our investment is a lot more than the capital we provide’ and we are so proud of the team and partnerships we have built that make that true.”
Lamont and Kemp were ranked number #25, among an impressive list of the world’s most influential players in fintech banking and investing.