Coming off a year when HealthStream grew its top line by more than a quarter and operating income rose 19 percent, the company's board of directors has awarded 5 percent raises to its top executives. As detailed in HealthStream's proxy statement filed this week, President and CEO Bobby Frist will be paid a 2013 base salary of almost $270,000 while his top lieutenants all will get between $202,000 and $256,000.
Shares of HealthStream (Ticker: HSTM) closed Thursday at $22.27 and have fallen about 8 percent year to date.
Health care learning and research firm HealthStream held its first ever investor day Wednesday during the company’s Summit for customers and partners at Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center.
The Post was invited to tag along for the event, which included presentations from the company’s entire leadership team, partners — including Laerdal Medical CEO Tor Morten Osmundsen, and conversations with some of the company’s customers. We won’t bore you with all the details, but here are a few fun and interesting tidbits from the day:
• What flood? The hotel and convention center look great. We wish we could have hung out in the conservatory all day…
• Bobby Frist is a surprisingly dynamic speaker. Not that we thought he was boring, but an anecdote to a 700+ person audience about recently cracking his head on the pavement during a dad-on-a-skateboard vs. daughter-on-a-bike race — complete with blown-up images of his CT scan and raccoon-style black eyes — was unexpected and entertaining. (Don’t worry, he’s fine.)
• HealthStream has more than doubled its stock price (Ticker: HSTM) in the last year, and we heard at least one investor say he wish he’d arrived at the party a little sooner.
• The view through HealthStream’s windshield is pretty good. Among the opportunities ahead of the company is the beginning of “value-based purchasing” for hospitals. Basically, reimbursement for health care organizations will be tied to several performance measures, including scores on the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey (HCAHPS). HealthStream provides a range of tools designed to help hospitals improve their HCAHPS scores — tools that should be in greater demand in the near future.
• Accountable Care Organizations could be a good thing for HealthStream. The company currently focuses on the acute care hospital market. As those hospitals start acquiring or affiliating with other types of providers — home health agencies, long term care facilities, etc. — to form ACOs, they may want those new affiliated providers to use HealthStream as well, potentially moving the company into new verticals with virtually no sales effort.
• Things are going to get fuzzy. Traditionally, analysts (and reporters) have tackled HealthStream coverage by focusing on its two segments, learning and research. Frist said the company is going to begin expanding its definition of research to include “assessments” — a move that may blur the lines between those two categories.
On the company's earnings call morning, CEO Bobby Frist discussed what's up the company's sleeve for the immediate future. For one, it will launch its SimStore — the first product in its joint venture with Laerdal Medical — on Monday. At the company's annual user Summit on May 2 through May 5, HealthStream will lay out its product roadmap for SimVentures as it pertains to the company's acute care hospital customers.
In addition, Frist said the company will be "rolling out a series of new partnerships and products and tool sets that form a unique view of how to manage talent in health care to achieve positive business and clinical outcomes." For example, one new partnership in the talent management arena will be for a product that helps hospitals pre-qualify their workers.
"It will be a new product category for HealthStream, used in pre-hiring stage of talent selection in health care," Frist said, adding that he'll disclose more information at the Summit next week.
Eleven years after HealthStream's initial public offering, the company's stock has returned to its $9 per share IPO level. This morning, following a strong Q1 earnings report, the company's shares (Ticker: HSTM) rocketed up 15 percent, hitting a first-hour high of $9.53.
HealthStream, which provides education and research services to hospitals and health care providers across the country, conducted its IPO in April of 2000, at the tail end of the tech bubble. The company's shares briefly hit a high of $10.13 that month, before plummeting when the bubble burst — hitting a low of 75 cents before the end of that year.
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