By Alex Green
In late July, Health Catalyst announced its common stock would begin trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market.
This marks the culmination of a journey that started 11 years ago and provides a great illustration of a startup that has maximised the potential of the move in healthcare to value-based care. However, the IPO comes at a time where there is some uncertainty gripping the markets it targets and there are several key challenges for Health Catalyst to overcome in order to drive future success. Here’s our take on the company’s journey to this point and its future opportunities and challenges as it transitions from startup to a publicly traded company.
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The journey to IPO
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The genesis of Health Catalyst goes back to work that its founders, Steven Barlow and Thomas Burton, started at U.S. healthcare provider Intermountain, developing tools that supported data warehousing and analytics on the back of Intermountain’s home grown EHR. Health Catalyst was the product of Barlow and Burton’s commercialisation of these tools. Since this time the company has grown rapidly in terms of commercial success and number of customers, achieving sales of $112.6M in 2018 (up more than 50% on 2017) with a customer base that had reached 126 US healthcare systems by the end of Q1 2019.
It has done this by offering a combination of technology and services that support healthcare providers when using data to improve clinical and financial performance. Tools of this nature have become increasingly important with the rise of value-based care, the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the increased demand for population health management (PHM) IT.
To date Health Catalyst has positioned itself well to maximise on these trends. New organic business has been the main driver of revenue growth, mostly driven by adding new customers to its subscription-based services and increasing the number of products each customer uses. However, this was supplemented with the acquisition of HIE vendor Medicity in June 2018, and is partly responsible for the increase in sales in 2018 (Medicity brought in $12.5M extra in revenue in 2018 and added 60 health systems to Health Catalyst’s customer base)