Analysts Share Insights at Health Care Council Event
More than 700 senior healthcare executives gathered in late January at the Nashville Health Care Council's signature event, "Wall Street's View on Prospects for the Health Care Industry," to hear top analysts discuss the investment outlook for the coming year.
The conversation was moderated by Wayne T. Smith, chairman and CEO, Community Health Systems, and included Frank Morgan, managing director, RBC Capital Markets; Joshua Raskin, senior research analyst, Nephron Research LLC; A.J. Rice, managing director, Credit Suisse; and Kristen Stewart, director, Deutsche Bank.
Major themes from the discussion included M&A activity, drug pricing, consumerism, and emerging technologies. The panelists identified several trends for investors to watch, and they agreed technologies that get patients more engaged with their own care ... and help to deliver value ... will be worthy investments over the next five years.
"There will be a resurgence of primary care delivered in new places like the workplace and home, and these are important developments to watch," Rice said. "Managed care companies are moving into new areas that affect people's overall health, such as social, mental and financial demands."
Raskin pointed out that "if individuals are going to be armed with the actual data around cost and quality, you're going to see shifts in pricing. If you're a hospital administrator, you probably need to think more about marketing and branding as a long-term strategy as opposed to fundraising."
The analysts explored perspectives on various healthcare sectors, including acute care, post-acute care, ambulatory services, managed care, home care, medical devices and pharmaceuticals.
"Senior housing should continue to see growth because there is an increasing number of people needing it as baby boomers age. Also, seniors have the money to buy it because the stock and housing markets have been good," Raskin said.
"Some sectors will likely perform better than others, but healthcare so far this year is still outperforming the overall market and I think should continue to be positive across most healthcare sub sectors," said Stewart. "We are keeping an eye on vertical integrations that could change delivery models and value-based healthcare."
"Within the post-acute continuum, the home health industry is best positioned for growth as payers and policymakers attempt to move patients to the most clinically appropriate and lowest cost setting of care," said Morgan. "Though ambulatory care has experienced the same utilization pressures experienced of late by acute hospitals, the industry will do well in the long term because it is a lower cost option to the healthcare system and is preferred by physicians, patients and payers," he continued.
Panelists identified HCA, Zimmer Biomet, United Health, Acadia, Anthem and Envision Healthcare as companies to watch in 2018. Nashville is headquarters to 18 publicly traded healthcare companies, which employ 500,000 people throughout the world and see $84 billion in annual revenue.
"Nashville companies are uniquely positioned to make contributions that will significantly improve healthcare across the country. Wall Street investors continually look to Nashville as they analyze trends, and the Council is proud to host this important discussion on the future of the industry," said Smith, who is also a member of the Nashville Health Care Council Board of Directors.