Phreesia partnering with North Carolina DHHS on social determinants of health screening

Phreesia CEO Chaim Indig rings the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange July 18
Phreesia CEO and co-founder Chaim Indig (pictured) says the partnership with North Carolina aligns with the company's mission of improving the healthcare experience. (NYSE)

Healthcare software company Phreesia is expanding into social determinants of health screening with a new partnership with North Carolina as part of the state's $650 million Healthy Opportunities pilot project.

During its second-quarter earnings call Tuesday morning, Phreesia CEO and co-founder Chaim Indig announced the collaboration with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services on its Section 1115 Medicaid waiver initiative to provide non-medical interventions that target the social determinants of health.

In 2018, the Trump administration approved North Carolina's plan to spend $650 million of state and federal funds for pilot projects to address unmet social needs. The pilots will address housing instability, transportation insecurity, food insecurity, and interpersonal violence and toxic stress for a limited number of high-need enrollees. 

North Carolina healthcare providers can now use Phreesia's patient intake management platform when administering the state's standardized social determinants of health screening questions to identify patients who have unmet social needs that impact their overall health.

Indig said helping providers identify patients' social needs "aligns unbelievably well" to Phreesia's mission.

"I'm excited to be partnered with the state on this groundbreaking program. The social determinants of health have become a huge part of how we help people manage the cost of their own healthcare and improve their outcomes on a long-term basis," he said, noting that North Carolina's program is one of the largest social determinants projects in the country.

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DHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. said in a press release the partnership with Phreesia will make it easier for doctors and other health care providers to ask patients about their non-medical health needs, which are a critical component of their overall health.

Phreesia’s intake platform fits into the medical practice workflow and allows patients to answer sensitive questions about their unmet social needs privately, the company said. The platform also gives providers and care coordinators real-time alerts and data to provide better access to resources. Medical practices will also have analytics and reporting to patient populations both in the aggregate and on an individual level

During the earnings call, the company reported 24% second-quarter revenue growth after going public on July 18. Revenue for the quarter was $30.8 million compared to $24.8 million in the same period in the prior year.

Average revenue per provider-client was $16,472 in the quarter compared to $13,420 in the same period in the prior year, an increase of 23%. The average number of provider clients was 1,558 in the quarter compared to 1,463 in the same period in the prior year, an increase of 6%.

Phreesia's second-quarter revenue beat Wall Street analyst estimates by $1.86 million but earnings were lower compared to the second quarter of 2018. For the three months ended July 31, 2019, the company reported adjusted EBITDA of $742 million compared to adjusted EBITDA of $1.7 million in the second quarter of 2018, down 57%.

Phreesia executives said lower earnings reflected increases in ongoing general and administrative expenses in preparation for operating as a public company.

The company's stock was up 8% in morning trading.