On the heels of its second-quarter earnings, value-based care enabler Privia sits with “a lot of control over [its] destiny,” COO Parth Mehrotra told Sarah.
Why is it important: Value-based care is hot, with major players like Amazon and CVS claiming market share – and profitable public companies like Privia could be in the crosshairs.
Driving the news: While the performance of most other digital health stocks remains lackluster, Privia shares gained momentum on Thursday (hit a 52-week high at midday) after raising forecasts and beating earnings expectations.
- Sitting on $300 million in cash and debt-free, Privia is hyper-focused on operational execution and entering new markets organically, Mehrotra told Sarah.
- Privia is in its “goldilocks phase,” says Mehrotra. “We’re in eight states and 42 to go.”
What they say : Mehrotra is wary of private market valuations (and expectations). However, he hints that Privia is well positioned but under no pressure to consider various types of mergers and acquisitions – if and when it wishes.
- “I think you’ll see transformative combinations of public company to public company,” says Mehrotra. “We’re not looking at anything right now, but over time if we want to be independent and become the next $15-20 billion publicly traded company, it’s hard to do that organically in healthcare. .”
- Until the public-private valuation gap narrows, Privia plans to seek top-ups of $5-20 million for medical group/independent physician association service entities to enter new states.
- And, if Privia ultimately decides it wants to run IPAs like Agilon, or build clinics like Oak Street, “there’s nothing stopping us,” Mehrotra says.
The context: While many tech-based healthcare players are hyper-focused — say, solely on Medicare Advantage primary care — Privia takes the opposite approach.
- Privia partners with and helps physicians of all specialties move towards value-based care, serving all types of patients in all settings, participating in all types of reimbursement.
- This has translated into approximately 900 sites, approximately 4 million patients, of which 850,000 are now benefiting from value-based arrangements.
- It’s a repeatable and adaptable model in any state, says Mehrotra.
Yes and: “Given that PRVA’s model actually increases cash inflows for practices, it makes sense to us that PRVA continues to grow,” writes BTIG’s David Larsen in a report.
Between the lines: Privia offers an alternative to doctors who do not wish to join a health system, a PE roll-up or United-Optum.
- Mehrotra ‘marvels’ at what United-Optum have built but thinks Privia has something it doesn’t.
- “We can partner with independent providers and health-system-connected providers who vehemently oppose United and Optum membership,” Mehrotra says, explaining that many physicians prefer the financial and clinical autonomy that it allows.
Yes, but: The executive credits former United CEO Stephen Hemsley for recognizing 15 years ago the need to own provider assets and create a care delivery network.
State of play: When it comes to post-IPO and post-SPAC stock performance for those who have entered the digital health space in the last two years, Privia is clearly an outlier.
- Privia shares have soared more than 40% this year so far, including Thursday’s gains. In contrast…
- Caremax is down 3%; Agilon is down 7%+; Oak Street is down 16%+; Oscar Health Down 19%+; P3 Health down 23%+; Clover is down 23%+; Bright Health is down 52%+; Cano is down 58%+; Babylon is down 87%+…and so on.
Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to refer to former United CEO Stephen Hemsley, not Steve Nelson.