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.
As part of his team's fourth-quarter earnings report this week, HealthStream CEO Bobby Frist also announced the company's move into the long-term care and home health provider markets as well as other post-acute segments. On the company's conference call with analysts Wednesday, Frist offered up some more details. Here are some of them; for the full transcript of the call, click here.
• HealthStream already has some clients in this space and is reorganizing its internal reporting to better group them. It's also hiring a number of salespeople — its total sales force grew to 76 from 61 last year and should add another 10 people in the coming months — to focus on post-acute prospects. However, Frist said meaningful new revenue streams from the push won't show up until late this year.
• Look for news of content and technology partnerships this spring as HealthStream builds out its offerings to the post-acute market, which executives say has a workforce of about 3 million. Costs won't ramp up quickly, Frist said, but will likely peak late in the third quarter as hiring picks up.
• Pricing and margins could become interesting. Frist said HealthStream's research shows a number of playes in the post-acute talent management space have price points that are higher than in the acute-care arena. So HealthStream has a chance to sell its products for more than it's charging for its main business now but still be a relative bargain in the post-acute market.
• As has been the case with HealthStream's existing businesses, acquisitions or joint ventures are on the table when it comes to building out oferings.
"It might be supplemental over time. We’ll take our time and process those opportunities, but I would not exclude opportunities in that space just because we’ve launched an organic strategy," Frist said. "We might find really good compliments on how to help that vertical grow as well."
Shares of HealthStream (Ticker: HSTM) are up about 1 percent to about $21.40 in early Thursday action. They're off about 12 percent so far this year.
In the year since John Wark opened the doors to the nonprofit Nashville Software School, the developer academy has found its place in the city's creative community — and turned away some folks Wark says looked like they would leave town as quickly as they got here. Pierce Greenberg has the story in this week's City Paper, where he writes about Wark's plans to add night classes and hook up with local government and education officials.
“I’ve shown we can create employable, entry-level developers. So I think we’re at the point where we can have a serious conversation with both the city, who again is committed to development of the tech workforce, and the state,” Wark said.
Vanderbilt University is partnering with nine other colleges and universities to offer selected undergraduate courses online for credit in a program to be called Semester Online.
The consortium — which includes Brandeis University, Duke University, Emory University, Northwestern University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Rochester, Wake Forest University and Washington University (St. Louis) — is the nation's first of its kind.
Semester Online courses will be offered through a virtual classroom environment and interactive platform developed by 2U, which previously was known as 2tor. The platform includes live class sessions connecting students and professors, and a social network that allows students to connect and build relationships with peers online.
“We are especially impressed with the strength of the partnership,” Richard McCarty, Vanderbilt provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, is quoted as saying in a myvu.com article by Melanie Moran (read more here). “2U has taken the lead in drawing together great colleges and universities and we look forward to being an active member of the consortium.”
Online teaching has become a hot area in recent years. Fast Company earlier this year ran a wide-ranging piece on sector leader Coursera.
HealthTeacher has named Dr. Kevin Wildenhaus, vice president of science and innovation at SocialWellth, as a senior advisor.
The team psychologist for the Pittsburgh Steelers for more than a decade, Wildenhaus (pictured) will advise Cummins Station-based HealthTeacher in the areas of behavior change, healthy habit formation and program outcome research. Previously, he served as senior director of science and innovation at Wellness & Prevention, a Johnson & Johnson company.
“Kevin Wildenhaus is a leading authority on health innovations and programs that positively impact the health and well-being of consumers,” Scott McQuigg, CEO of HealthTeacher, said in a release. “He uniquely understands how to optimize health promotion and prevention efforts to drive successful outcomes. Kevin will add extraordinary value and insights as HealthTeacher continues creating the tools and resources kids and families need to live life well.”
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