CPSI is a leading provider of healthcare solutions and services for community hospitals and other healthcare systems and post-acute care facilities. Founded in 1979, CPSI offers its products and services through four companies - Evident, LLC ("Evident"), TruBridge, LLC ("TruBridge"), American HealthTech, Inc. ("AHT"), and iNetXperts, Corp. d/b/a Get Real Health ("Get Real Health"). These combined companies are focused on improving the health of the communities we serve, connecting communities for a better patient care experience, and improving the financial operations of our clients. The individual contributions of each of these companies towards this combined focus are as follows:
•Evident, which makes up our acute Care EHR reporting segment, provides comprehensive acute care electronic health record ("EHR") solutions, Thrive and Centriq, and related services for community hospitals and their physician clinics.
•AHT, which makes up our post-acute Care EHR reporting segment, provides a comprehensive post-acute care EHR solution and related services for skilled nursing and assisted living facilities.
•TruBridge, our third reporting segment, focuses on providing business management, consulting, and managed information technology ("IT") services along with its complete revenue cycle management ("RCM") solution for all care settings, regardless of their primary healthcare information solutions provider.
•Get Real Health, included within our TruBridge segment, delivers technology solutions to improve patient outcomes and engagement strategies with care providers.
Our companies currently support acute care facilities and post-acute care facilities with a geographically diverse customer mix within the domestic community healthcare market. Our target market for our acute care solutions includes community hospitals with fewer than 200 acute care beds. Our primary focus within this defined target market is on hospitals with fewer than 100 beds, which comprise approximately 98% of our acute care hospital EHR customer base. Our target market for our TruBridge services includes community hospitals with fewer than 600 acute care beds. The target market for our post-acute care solutions consists of approximately 15,500 skilled nursing facilities that are either independently owned or part of a larger management group with multiple facilities. During 2020, we generated revenues of $264.5 million from the sale of our products and services.
The healthcare industry is the largest industry in the United States economy, comprising approximately 17.7% of the U.S. gross domestic product in 2019 according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ("CMS"). CMS estimates that by fiscal 2028, total U.S. healthcare spending will reach $6.2 trillion, or 19.7% of the estimated U.S. gross domestic product.
Hospital services represents one of the largest categories of total healthcare expenditures, comprising approximately 31% of total healthcare expenditures in 2019 according to the National Center for Health Services. According to the American Hospital Association’s AHA Hospital Statistics, 2021 Edition, there are approximately 3,900 community hospitals in the United States that are in our target market of hospitals with fewer than 200 beds, with approximately 2,900 of those in our primary area of focus of fewer than 100 acute care beds. In addition, there is a market of small specialty hospitals that focus on discrete medical areas such as surgery, rehabilitation and long-term acute care.
Notwithstanding the size and importance of the healthcare industry within the United States economy, the industry is constantly challenged by changing economic dynamics, increased regulation and pressure to improve the quality of healthcare. These challenges are particularly significant for the hospitals in our target market due to their more limited financial and human resources and their dependency on Medicare and Medicaid populations for a substantial portion of their revenue. However, we believe healthcare providers can successfully address these issues with the help of advanced medical information systems and our suite of complementary services. Specific examples of the challenges and opportunities facing healthcare providers include the following:
Changing Economic Dynamics
The economy of the healthcare industry, although not immune to general macroeconomic conditions, is heavily impacted by legislative and regulatory initiatives of the federal and state governments. These legislative and regulatory initiatives have a
particularly significant impact on our customer base, as community hospitals typically generate a significant portion of their revenues from beneficiaries of the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Consequently, even small changes in these federal and state programs have a disproportionately larger effect on community hospitals as compared to larger facilities where greater portions of their revenues are typically generated from beneficiaries of private insurance programs. Medicare and Medicaid funding and reimbursements fluctuate year to year and, with the growth in healthcare costs, will continue to be scrutinized as the federal and state governments attempt to control the costs and growth of the program. The Medicaid program, which is a federal/state program managed by the individual states and dependent in part on funding from the states, also continues to experience funding issues due to the increasing cost of healthcare and limited state revenues.
Mandatory cuts in federal spending resulting from the Budget Control Act of 2011 (the "Budget Control Act") became effective in March 2013. Although Medicaid is specifically exempted from the cuts mandated by the legislation, the Budget Control Act includes a reduction of up to 2% in federal Medicare spending, which has been achieved by reduced reimbursements to healthcare providers. Additionally, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more commonly referred to as the Affordable Care Act (the "ACA"), has put into effect a number of provisions designed to reduce Medicare and Medicaid program spending by significant amounts. As the federal government seeks in the future to further limit deficit spending due to fiscal restraints, it will likely continue to cut entitlement spending programs such as Medicare and Medicaid matching grants, which will place further cost pressures on hospitals and other healthcare providers. Furthermore, federal and state budget shortfalls, exacerbated by the novel coronavirus ("COVID-19") pandemic, as described below, could lead to potential reductions in funding for Medicare and Medicaid. Further reductions in reimbursements from Medicare and Medicaid could lead to hospitals postponing expenditures on information technology.
While legislative and regulatory initiatives are placing significant pressure on Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, our customer base of community hospitals is also likely faced with increases in demand for Medicare and Medicaid services. We expect that the demand for Medicare and Medicaid services will increase for the foreseeable future due to the growing number of people born during the post-World War II baby boom that are becoming eligible for Medicare benefits at age 65, as well as states electing to expand Medicaid coverage under the provisions of the ACA. The challenges posed by this dual-threat of increased demand for Medicare and Medicaid services and downward pressure on reimbursements are further complicated by the shift away from volume-based reimbursement towards value-based reimbursement, linking reimbursement to quality measurements and outcomes.
Compounding the combined effects of a likely increase in demand for Medicare and Medicaid services and persistent pressure on related reimbursements, the increasing prevalence of high deductible health plans and value-based reimbursement models is transforming domestic healthcare delivery into a more patient-centric experience. This transformation brings about new and increased data needs, resulting in additional regulatory demands for data that patients find useful in decision-making. These new regulatory demands increase regulatory risks and compliance burdens for CPSI and our clients, but also pose opportunities for CPSI to provide additional value-added products and services to our target market.
One such regulatory demand, the price transparency mandate, became effective in January 2021 for all U.S. hospitals. This mandate requires that hospitals publicly post, online and in a searchable, consumer-friendly manner, standard charge information for at least 300 shopable services, which gives patients the ability to compare payer-specific negotiated charges across healthcare settings. In response to this mandate, we announced in July 2020 the availability of a pricing transparency solution that gives patients the ability to shop for healthcare services based on price, supporting a more patient-driven healthcare experience.
To compete in the continually changing healthcare environment, providers are increasingly using technology in order to help maximize the efficiency of their business practices, to assist in enhancing patient care, and to maintain the privacy and security of patient information. Healthcare providers are placing increased demands on their information systems to accomplish these tasks. We believe that information systems must facilitate management of patient information across administrative, financial and clinical tasks. Information systems must also effectively interface with a variety of payor organizations within the increasingly complex reimbursement environment.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
In 2009, the U.S. federal government enacted the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the "ARRA"), which included the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act ("HITECH"). HITECH authorized the EHR incentive program, which provided significant incentive funding to physicians and hospitals that can prove they have adopted and are appropriately using technology such as our EHR solutions. The level to which healthcare providers must prove they are effectively utilizing such solutions in order to qualify for these incentives is measured through an escalating criteria designated as "meaningful use." As a result of our obtaining the required certifications and our track record with our hospital customers
successfully achieving meaningful use, the ARRA continues to have a positive impact on our business and the businesses of the community hospitals that comprise our target market.
Similarly, compliance with the meaningful use rules accelerated the purchases of incremental applications by our existing clients. Consequently, our penetration rates within our existing customer base for our current menu of applications have increased significantly under the ARRA, thereby significantly narrowing the market for add-on sales to existing clients in future years. As a result of the announcement from CMS on August 2, 2018 of a final rule changing the attestation period for 2019 and 2020 to any continuous 90-day period instead of the previously-required full year attestation period, hospitals had until October 1, 2019 to install compliant technology in order to meet the requirements of the program during 2019, compared to a deadline of January 1, 2019 under the previous rule. The stage three requirements of the meaningful use program (re-named "Promoting Interoperability" by such rule) provided a significant opportunity for add-on sales revenues during 2017 through 2019. The passing of the October 1, 2019 compliance deadline resulted in reduced MU3-related revenue opportunities throughout 2020.
Continued Push for Improved Patient Care
With the increased pressure to improve the quality of healthcare and reduce costs, there is a general shift towards value-based reimbursement, which increases the demand for information technology solutions for clinical decision support. This migration toward clinical decision support solutions is further supported by the ARRA. Provisions of the ARRA offered incentives for hospitals to become meaningful users of EHRs through September 2015. Hospitals and healthcare providers that did not implement and demonstrate meaningful use of EHRs by October 1, 2014 were penalized with lower Medicare payment levels after that date.
In the face of decreasing revenue and increasing pressure to improve patient care, healthcare providers are in need of management tools and related services that (1) increase efficiency in the delivery of healthcare services, (2) reduce medical errors, (3) effectively track the cost of delivering services so that those costs can be properly managed and (4) increase the speed and rate of reimbursement. A hospital’s failure to adequately invest in a modern medical information system could result in fewer patient referrals, cost inefficiencies, lower than expected reimbursement, increased malpractice risk and possible regulatory infractions. Additionally, we believe that the industry will continue to increase its utilization of third party services that contribute to the achievement of these and other objectives necessary for success in the current environment. We believe these dynamics should allow for future revenue growth for both our information technology solutions and our complementary suite of services.
The healthcare industry is at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic, with heroic efforts by healthcare providers on the frontlines and advances in technology and science bringing vaccines to market in an unprecedented timeframe. Looking beyond 2020, we believe the pandemic could lead to an acceleration of macro trends already developing in the industry. For example, it is likely that the pandemic advances the role of the federal government as the top regulator and payor for healthcare and that financial distress resulting from the pandemic increases the pace of health system consolidations. Additionally, the quick pivot to virtual healthcare in response to the pandemic has increased consumer expectations, particularly around the convenience of telemedicine and digital health options.
This quick pivot to virtual healthcare accelerated the ongoing increasing demand for telemedicine solutions and services, with recent history suggesting an evolving reimbursement environment that is becoming more receptive to telemedicine with each passing year. In response to this trend and the necessity for virtual care imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, we accelerated the product roadmap for Get Real Health’s Talk With Your Doc telehealth portal. The product was introduced for general release by April 2020 and was provided to customers free of charge for the remainder of the year.
Our objective is to increase the market share of our TruBridge services, aggressively pursue competitive and vulnerable EHR replacement opportunities, and differentiate our products and services on a client experience basis that enables us to sell a broader set of services into a loyal base of clients that are our advocates. During 2020, we took pause and engaged a top-tier international consulting firm to assess our company-wide growth strategy. The outcome of this eight-week effort was the confirmation of our current strategy of cross-selling TruBridge into the existing EHR base, expanding TruBridge market share with sales to new community and larger health systems, and pursuing competitive EHR takeaway opportunities.
The healthcare industry is in the midst of transitioning to value-based reimbursement, care coordination and interoperability. Our strategy is to position our services and solutions with community healthcare providers so that they are able to respond to these changes positively by enabling them to improve community health and connect providers and patients within the
community and with other communities, while improving financial operations. We intend to leverage several strengths to accomplish this goal.
Over the course of our more than 40 year history of providing valuable technology solutions and services to the acute care and post acute care environments, we have developed a significant customer base of community hospitals and skilled nursing facilities. This customer base is our most valuable asset, providing us with the critical mass necessary to scale our development, client support and service resources to meet the ever changing needs of our customers. In doing so, we solidify our position as a long-term partner with a proven track record in meeting the unique needs of community healthcare.
EHR Solutions Across the Care Continuum
Our EHR solutions address the entire continuum of care, with systems that address the three primary care settings: ambulatory care, inpatient acute care and post-acute care. This enables providers to coordinate patient care across the major settings where care is delivered. New payment models in both the government and private payer sectors are focused on payment for delivering quality outcomes and keeping patients well while still delivering financial efficiencies. These financial efficiencies are realized through the elimination of duplicate tests performed in different care settings, as well as providing timely access to clinical information from other care settings, when making diagnostic decisions. Having integrated solutions across the care continuum facilitates this process for providers and healthcare organizations.
Solutions and Services to Address Value-Based Reimbursement
With the continued emphasis on value-based reimbursement models, data analytics has become a critical tool for community healthcare providers to enable them to shift from reactive to proactive care delivery. We currently offer business intelligence as the first facet of a three-phase approach to analytics solutions, which we plan to expand to include predictive and prescriptive analytics. Because of the complexity inherent in data analytics, we will provide services to healthcare providers to assist them with certain aspects of data modeling and data analysis.
We currently provide integration across our ambulatory and inpatient EHR solutions. This integration was expanded to encompass our post-acute care EHR product in 2016. In addition, as a founding member of the CommonWell Health Alliance, we enable healthcare organizations to identify, confirm and link patient encounters across the CommonWell network. This translates into patient data that is not only shareable within communities but across communities as well.
Focus on the Financial Health of Community Healthcare Providers
Given the ongoing transition to value-based reimbursement models, community healthcare providers are under more financial pressure than ever before, and financial health and stability is essential to their longevity and survival. Our accounts receivable management services incorporate proven workflow and processes as well as industry leading revenue cycle management tools. A new aspect of many current payment models is an increasing shift of the financial burden to the patient. Community hospitals typically underperform in private pay collections because of the nature of community healthcare but cannot afford to forego the patient portion of contributions. Through our private pay services, providers can bring in much needed private pay receipts without alienating the local community.
Our operational expertise and technology tools provide proven results in improving claim acceptance rates, accelerating payments from third party payers and increasing private pay collections. We also differentiate our services by working to maintain employment in the community by hiring displaced employees into TruBridge to continue their functional role under TruBridge program management.
Strategic Uses of Capital
2020 marked the culmination of a years-long evolution in the capital allocation strategy of CPSI, a strategy designed to afford the flexibility necessary to be adaptive and opportunistic with future capital allocation decisions. Such flexibility is necessary if we are to continue to bring timely products and services to a rapidly changing healthcare landscape, serving the needs of multiple stakeholder groups as customers benefit from the related products and services and our stockholders benefit from the increasing diversity in revenue sources. Specific components of this years-long evolution include:
•Reducing our leverage profile, while increasing capital availability: Since December 31, 2017, our total bank debt has decreased from $143.5 million to $78.1 million, while the amount available under our revolving credit facility has increased from $17.0 million to $105.0 million.
•Refinancing our debt: In June 2020, we refinanced our outstanding indebtedness with the primary objectives of increasing the maximum borrowing capacity under the revolving credit facility from $50.0 million to $110.0 million and removing absolute-dollar limits on acquisition activity.
•Announcing a share repurchase program, while simultaneously suspending all quarterly dividends: In September 2020, our Board of Directors approved a stock repurchase program under which the Company may repurchase up to $30.0 million of its outstanding shares of common stock over a two-year period. Concurrent with the approval of the stock repurchase program, the Board of Directors opted to indefinitely suspend all quarterly dividends. These joint actions allow CPSI to continue its commitment to returning capital to shareholders, while at the same time enhancing our flexibility to adapt to an ever-changing landscape of alternative uses of capital.
Explore Additional Revenue Streams that Complement Existing Markets, Solutions and Services
In the EHR space, we are selling our ambulatory EHR solutions on a standalone basis with a focus on communities that already have one of our EHR solutions installed in an acute care setting. Also, we are actively pursuing expansion of our inpatient EHR product into the Canadian market through our own direct efforts and collaboration with key Canadian technology providers. In the United States EHR market, we are targeting other types of providers who have lagged behind inpatient acute care in EHR adoption such as ambulatory surgery centers, behavioral health facilities and inpatient psychiatric hospitals. In the post-acute care market, we are now providing an EHR solution for assisted living facilities in conjunction with our own post-acute care EHR for skilled nursing operators. In the services business we will continue to look for opportunities to add or increase services resulting from changing market dynamics, availability of technology or operational expertise, or changes in regulatory requirements.
Our Products and Services
Evident and American HealthTech provide tailored IT solutions that effectively address the specific needs of small and midsize hospitals and their physician clinics, as well as skilled nursing facilities of all sizes across the U.S. Their broad offerings of software products and services collect, process, retain, and report data in the primary functional areas of these healthcare providers, from patient care to clinical processing to administration and accounting. Due to their smaller operating budgets, community hospitals have limited financial and human resources to operate manual or inefficient information systems. However, these hospitals are expected to achieve the same quality of care and regulatory compliance as larger hospitals, placing them in a particularly difficult operating environment. These pressures on the operating environments of community hospitals were increased with the passage of the ARRA in 2009 which, in addition to providing incentives to healthcare providers to achieve meaningful use of EHR, has resulted in lowered Medicare payment levels for healthcare providers that have yet to achieve meaningful use of EHR.
We believe that our acute care IT solutions meet these challenges facing community hospitals by providing fully integrated, enterprise-wide and ARRA-certified medical information systems and services that are compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 ("HIPAA"). Further, through our wholly-owned subsidiary, TruBridge, we offer business management, consulting and managed IT services, along with its full RCM solution, that allow our acute and post-acute care clients to outsource all or just a portion of their business office function. Consulting and other services help clients avoid some of the fixed costs of a business office and leverage our expertise and resources in helping them identify their IT objectives, define the best way to meet those requirements and manage the resulting projects and associated technologies. As a result, we are capable of providing a single-source solution to healthcare organizations, making us a partner in their initiatives to improve operations and medical care.
As a key component to providing complete solutions, we maintain strong partnerships with our clients through a variety of two-way communication channels, including our support teams, role-based user groups, client councils, client work groups, our annual National Client Conference and other organized events and venues that foster insightful and meaningful communication. By listening to our clients and staying abreast of market trends, we strive to provide the right healthcare solutions at the right time to help meet the specific business needs of acute and post-acute care organizations. Our business has continued to grow because we have successfully provided fully integrated, enterprise-wide information systems that allow community hospitals, their physician clinics and skilled nursing facilities to improve operating effectiveness, reduce costs and improve the quality of patient care.
Acute Care Software Systems
Through our wholly-owned subsidiary, Evident, we offer healthcare IT solutions specifically designed to cater to the specific needs of community hospital organizations under the software solution platforms Thrive and Centriq.
With the formation of Evident in 2015 came the introduction of our EHR solution under the name Thrive, previously sold under the CPSI name, through which we offer a full array of software applications designed to streamline the flow of information to the primary functional areas of community hospitals using one fully integrated system. We intend to continue to enhance our existing software applications and develop new applications as required by evolving industry standards and the changing needs of our clients. Pursuant to our client support agreements, we provide our clients with software enhancements and upgrades periodically on a when-and-if-available basis. See "Acute Care Support and Maintenance Services." These enhancements enable each client, regardless of its original installation date, to have the benefit of the most advanced Evident products available. Evident's software applications within Thrive:
•provide automated processes that improve clinical workflow and support clinical decision-making;
•allow healthcare providers to efficiently input and easily access the most current patient medical data in order to improve quality of care and patient safety;
•integrate clinical, financial and patient information to promote efficient use of time and resources, while eliminating dependence on paper medical records;
•provide tools that permit healthcare organizations to analyze past performance, model new plans for the future and measure and monitor the effectiveness of those plans;
•provide for rapid and cost-effective implementation, whether through the installation of an in-house system or through our Software as a Service ("SaaS") services; and
•increase the flow of information by replacing centralized data over which there is limited control with broad-based, secure access by clinical and administrative personnel to data relevant to their functional areas.
Our software applications within Thrive are grouped for support purposes according to the following general functional categories described below:
•Patient Management. Our patient management software enables a hospital to identify a patient at any point in the healthcare delivery system and to collect and maintain patient information throughout the entire process of patient care on an enterprise-wide basis. Thrive's single database structure permits authorized hospital personnel to simultaneously access appropriate portions of a patient’s record from any point on the system. Our patient management software applications include: Registration, Patient Accounting, Health Information Management, Patient Index, Enterprise Wide Scheduling, Contract Management, and Quality Improvement.
•Financial Accounting. Our financial accounting software provides a variety of business office applications designed to efficiently track and coordinate information needed for managerial decision-making. Our financial accounting software applications include: Executive Information System, General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Payroll/Personnel, Time and Attendance, Electronic Direct Deposits, Human Resources, Budgeting, Fixed Assets, and Materials Management.
•Clinical. Our clinical software automates record keeping and reporting for many clinical functions including laboratory, radiology, physical therapy, respiratory care and pharmacy. These products eliminate tedious paperwork, calculations and written documentation while allowing for easy retrieval of patient data and statistics. Our clinical software applications include: Laboratory Information Systems, Laboratory Instrument Interfaces, Radiology Information Systems, ImageLink Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS), Physical Therapy and Respiratory Care, and Pharmacy.
•Patient Care. Our patient care applications allow hospitals to create computerized "patient files" in place of the traditional paper file systems. This software enables physicians, nurses and other hospital staff to improve the quality of patient care through increased access to patient information, assistance with projected care requirements and feedback regarding patient needs. Our software also addresses current safety initiatives in the healthcare industry such as the transition from written prescriptions and physician orders to computerized physician order entry. Our patient care software applications include: Order Entry/Results Reporting, Point-of-Care System, Patient Acuity, ChartLink®, Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE), Medication Verification, Resident Assessment Instruments, Thrive Provider EHR, Outreach Client Access, Electronic Forms, Physician Documentation, and Emergency Department System.
•Enterprise Applications. We provide software applications that support the products described above and are useful to all areas of the hospital. These applications include: ad hoc reporting, automatic batch and real-time system backups, an integrated fax system, archival data repository, document scanning and Microsoft Office integration, and an Application Portal.
During 2018, the products and services formerly offered under the Healthland logo, including Centriq, were brought into the Evident product family. The Centriq platform was brought to market in 2011 and is designed to be an intuitive user interface that is easy for clinicians to use and attractive to both patients and clinicians. Additionally, as a web-based platform, users are able to connect to the system from any device that is connected to the Internet. Ease of use combined with Centriq’s ability to centralize data from various care areas provide the end user with a powerful tool to view past and present patient information with ease. Each system or application offers a broad set of features and functionalities that can help clinics reduce costs, increase revenue, and improve administrative and clinical staff efficiency, all while enhancing patient care and safety. Key Centriq capabilities include:
•Computerized Practitioner Order Entry ("CPOE"). The cornerstone of inpatient EHR systems, CPOE promotes user adoption by including medication interaction alerts, access to relevant laboratory results, duplicate order checking, customizable order sets and protocols, and order templates containing pre-populated screens.
•Clinical Documentation. This system securely enables a patient’s caregivers to view the vital signs, intake-output values, progress notes, and nursing tasks that are entered into the patient’s EHR.
•Emergency Department. This system expedites and simplifies registration, patient tracking, order management, assessments, and other activities in a fast-paced environment.
•Laboratory. This system automates routine tasks such as lab order processing and tracking, enabling the practitioner to focus on the results and ultimately better patient care.
•Radiology. This application delivers faster turnaround times and enhanced communications among caregivers by automatically processing radiology orders, managing and tracking images, and generating reports.
•Pharmacy. This application helps pharmacies manage all aspects of medication verification and dispensing, including order coordination, interaction checks, administration, and charging.
•Financial Accounting. A hospital financial accounting management solution that helps community hospitals gain better insight and perspective on their costs.
•Patient Management. An accounting system to better manage patient information and automate the hospital billing process.
•Ambulatory Software Solutions. Enables clinicians to focus on providing high-quality patient care by streamlining the management of patient data.
Post-acute Care Software Systems
CPSI entered into the post-acute care market with the acquisition of AHT in January 2016. AHT, a leading provider of integrated solutions to the post-acute care industry, offers software solutions that promote data-driven clinical and financial outcomes for the customers they serve. AHT's comprehensive, long-term care management solutions include:
•Care Management. This integrated offering helps manage the delivery of quality care, collect and report on resident information, and manage compliance risk. Core modules include: Work Center, Clinical, Smart Charting Order Administration (Point of Care), Quality Assurance, Therapy Tracking, Supplies Tracking, and Disease State Management.
•Financial and Enterprise Management. This comprehensive set of financial solutions enables customers to improve cash flow and better manage costs. Core modules include: Accounts Payable, General Ledger, Payroll, Financial Management, Trust Funds, and Enterprise Management.
Acute Care Support and Maintenance Services
After a customer installs Thrive or Centriq, we provide software application support, hardware maintenance, continuing education and related services pursuant to a support agreement using our collaborative support model. The following describes services provided to customers using Thrive and Centriq:
• Total System Support. We believe the quality of continuing customer support is one of the most critical considerations in the selection of an information system provider. We provide hardware, technical and software support for all aspects of our system, which gives us the flexibility to take the necessary course of action to resolve any issue. Unlike our competitors who use third-party services for hardware and software support, we provide a single, convenient and efficient resource for all of our customers’ system support needs. In order to minimize the impact of a system problem, we train our customer service personnel to be technically proficient, courteous and prompt. Because a properly functioning information system is crucial to a hospital’s operations, our support teams are available 24 hours per day to assist customers with any problem that may arise. Customers can also use the Internet to directly access our support system.
• National Client Conference. All of our customers have the opportunity to attend our annual National Client Conference. CPSI hosts this conference to provide our customers educational sessions, product demonstrations, and one-on-one time with application experts. The conference also allows important time for networking among customers and CPSI staff across all business platforms.
• Continuing Education. Effective learning tools are a key factor in successful EHR adoption and allowing clients to get the most out of a software investment. Therefore, ongoing learning and training is a cornerstone to our “total solution” and a key competitive differentiator. Our ongoing learning and training offerings also address some of the unique needs of community hospitals - limited resources and staff with cross-department responsibilities and budget and time constraints - all of which require a customized approach to learning and training. To meet these needs, Evident offers customers with online content that can be accessed at any time, scheduled online interactive classroom presentations, on-campus training at our facilities in Mobile, Alabama and Minneapolis, Minnesota, educational sessions during user group conferences, and scheduled regional training sessions.
• Software Releases. We are committed to providing our customers with software and technology solutions that will continue to meet their information system needs. To accomplish this purpose, we continually work to enhance and improve our application programs. As part of this effort, for each customer covered under our general support agreement, we provide software updates as they become available at no additional cost. We design these enhancements to be seamlessly integrated into each customer’s existing system. The benefit of these enhancements is that each customer, regardless of its original installation date, uses the most advanced software available. Through this process, we can keep our customers up-to-date with the latest operational innovations in the healthcare industry as well as with changing governmental regulatory requirements. Another benefit of this "one system" concept is that our customer service teams can be more effective in responding to customer needs because they maintain a complete understanding of and familiarity with the one system that all customers use.
Purchasing a new information technology system requires the expenditure of a substantial amount of capital and other resources, and many customers are concerned that these systems will become obsolete as technology changes. Our periodic product updates eliminate our customers’ concerns about system obsolescence. We believe providing this benefit is a strong incentive for potential customers to select our products over the products of our competitors.
• Hardware Replacement. As part of our general support agreements, we are also committed to promptly replacing malfunctioning system hardware in order to minimize the effect of operational interruptions. By offering replacements of all hardware used in our system, we believe we are better able to meet and address all of the information technology needs of our customers.
• Cloud Electronic Health Record (Cloud EHR). We offer Cloud EHR services to customers via remote access telecommunications. Cloud EHR is a "Software as a Service" (or "SaaS") configuration and is in essence a subscription to access and use application software maintained by CPSI in a cloud environment for a monthly fee. Under this configuration, a customer is able to obtain access to an advanced EHR without a significant initial capital outlay. We store and maintain all Cloud EHR customers’ critical patient and administrative data
using TruBridge Cloud Computing Services. These customers access this information remotely through direct telecommunications connections.
• Forms and Supplies. In addition to our support services, we offer our customers the standard and customized forms that they need for their patient and financial records, as well as the supplies necessary to support the operation of their server and peripheral equipment. Furnishing these forms and supplies helps us to achieve our objective of being a one-source solution for a hospital’s complete healthcare information system requirements.
Post-acute Care Support and Maintenance Services
AHT’s comprehensive and integrated solution set is backed by ongoing training and support by AHT to ensure that clients can maximize their software investment. This is demonstrated by:
•Experienced and Dedicated Support Representatives. Seasoned experts assigned to each client site that not only understand the challenges in the post-acute care industry, but know how to best address them. This includes proactive education on the key regulatory changes and requirements before they impact business operations.
•Client Portal and Training. Instant, on-line access to the most up-to-date industry information impacting long-term care, plus a vast array of product training opportunities.
•Client Enhancement Council. Access to a community of peers along with a robust set of resources and knowledge to help clients get the most out of their AHT investment.
•Annual Client Symposium. An opportunity for clients to share best practices, gain industry insight on key topics impacting post-acute care providers, network with peers, and learn more about current and future AHT product and service offerings.
We offer complementary services through TruBridge, our wholly-owned subsidiary, which can be grouped into the following categories:
•Revenue Cycle Management Products. TruBridge RCM solutions empower providers and caregivers in hospitals, healthcare systems and skilled nursing organizations to accelerate their revenue cycle through a suite of comprehensive, web-based solutions designed to improve financial operations and staff productivity and increase reimbursement. Our RCM products include the following offerings:
◦Patient Liability Estimates. Improve patient satisfaction, maximize point-of-service collections, and equip staff with the ability to provide transparent pricing with the Patient Liability Estimate ("PLE") module.
◦Eligibility Verification. Reduce claim denials and carrier rejections by performing on-demand eligibility look-ups, assuring the care provided is covered.
◦Claim Scrubbing and Submission. A powerful claim management solution for submitting, validating, and processing a healthcare facility’s claims with ease and with a high quality of edits.
◦Remittance Management. Remittance advice can be effortlessly gathered and managed with the Electronic Remittance Advice ("ERA") Retrieval and Remittance Management modules, simplifying workflow and involvement.
◦Denial/Audit Management. Equips healthcare facilities with the tools necessary to combat denied and audited claims, assisting organizations in recovering lost revenue.
◦Contract Management. Allows healthcare facilities to take control over complex healthcare contracts by prospectively pricing every claim submitted to payers, retrospectively pricing every remittance to ensure proper payment was received, and modeling proposed contract terms during payer negotiations.
•Revenue Cycle Management Services. Our RCM services span a healthcare enterprise’s revenue cycle and provide clients with a strong alternative to in-house operations. These services leverage our deep service and technology experience and are designed to allow clients to streamline their administrative staffing while improving operational efficiencies. Our RCM services include the following service offerings: Accounts Receivable Management, Private Pay Service, Medical Coding, Revenue Cycle Consulting, and other additional Insurance and Patient Billing Services.
•Consulting and Business Management Services. Our consulting and business management services are designed to help healthcare organizations by assessing their needs, setting goals, and creating an action plan to achieve those goals, and, if needed, implementing the action plan. Many of our professional consultants possess decades of experience and all are skilled in adopting new technologies, redesigning processes, educating staff, and providing interim or on-going management services. Our consulting and business management services include the following service offerings: Consulting, Business Intelligence, Staffing, and Administrative.
•Managed IT Services. Our managed IT services provide a range of services designed to meet the IT needs of community healthcare enterprises. The pace of technological change can be overwhelming. Our services allow clients to affordably maintain an advanced IT infrastructure, meet regulatory requirements, and reduce risk. Our managed IT services include the following service offerings: Cloud Services, Backup and Recovery, Collaboration and Connectivity, Security Services, Systems Management, and Help Desk.
•Patient Engagement. In May 2019, the Company closed its acquisition of Get Real Health. Get Real Health delivers patient engagement and empowerment technology solutions to improve patient outcomes and engagement strategies with care providers.
For additional details on our products, service, and support offerings, visit www.evident.com (Evident), www.healthtech.net (AHT), www.trubridge.com (TruBridge), and www.getrealhealth.com (Get Real Health).
For the results of operations by segment, refer to Note 18 of the consolidated financial statements included herein.
Product Development and Enhancement
The healthcare information technology industry is characterized by rapid technological change requiring us to continually make investments to update, enhance and improve our products and services. These investments have resulted in total expenditures related to our Product Development Services division of approximately $33.5 million, $36.9 million, and $36.4 million during the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively.
We formally announced our product management team in November 2018, and in 2019 we began to apply new product management principles throughout our organization to better utilize our valuable resources and maximize value creation and innovation. This team is responsible for launching products, providing industry insight and identifying emerging segments within our target markets. By focusing on the right workflows, aligning the appropriate stakeholders and establishing clear roles and responsibilities, CPSI can make better product decisions faster. The key tenets of product management are being the best stewards of our resources and enabling growth.
By working with the various internal stakeholders (product development, marketing, sales and support), as well as external stakeholders (customers, industry subject matter experts), the product management team takes new product and service ideas and creates a business case for each of the initiatives. We have created a Provider Council, Nursing Council and CFO Council to assist with these efforts as well.
The goals of the product management team are to understand our customers and identify the value of various ideas, by considering customer retention and satisfaction, support and training impact and revenue potential. The initiatives become part of our initiative portfolio and are evaluated against each other. We use this view of the portfolio to manage risks within the portfolio and allow us to create the most value for each investment we make. We are experiencing successes with this approach, as evidenced by increased product innovation and related momentum.
System Implementation and Training
Conversion Services. When a client purchases or leases one of our systems, we convert their existing data to the new system. Our knowledge of hospital data processing, in conjunction with extensive in-house technical expertise, allows us to accomplish this task in a cost effective manner. When we install a new system, the data conversion has already occurred so that the system is immediately operational. Our goal is for each client to be productive day one in order to eliminate time and money wasted on the costly and inefficient task of maintaining the same data on parallel systems. Our services also relieve the hospital staff of the time-consuming burden of data conversion. The conversion process is the initial phase of our long-term partnership and overall client experience.
Training. In order to integrate the new system and to ensure its success, we spend approximately sixteen weeks providing individualized training remotely and on-site at the go-live. We provide hardware and software application training for all hospital users, including staff members and healthcare providers, during all hospital shifts. We employ nurses, medical technicians, and providers along with our technical training staff in order to help us communicate more effectively with our clients during the training process. This training phase is also part of the overall client experience that is provided to all of our clients.
Clients, Sales and Marketing
The target market for our acute care EHR systems consists of community hospitals with fewer than 200 acute care beds, with a primary focus on hospitals with fewer than 100 acute care beds. In the United States, there are approximately 3,900 community hospitals with fewer than 200 acute care beds, with approximately 2,900 of these having fewer than 100 acute care beds. In addition, we market our products to small specialty hospitals in the United States that focus on discrete medical areas such as behavioral health, surgery, rehabilitation and long-term acute care. Approximately 98% of our existing acute care clients are hospitals with fewer than 100 acute care beds, while approximately 99% of our existing acute care clients are hospitals with fewer than 200 acute care beds.
The target market for our post-acute care EHR solution consists of approximately 15,500 long-term care and skilled nursing facilities in the United States. In addition, through a strategic relationship with Medtelligent, we are able to market an EHR for assisted living facilities creating add-on sales opportunities in our direct client base and new sales opportunities across the broader senior living market.
The expanded target market for our TruBridge services consists of small to mid-size hospitals in the United States. There are approximately 4,850 of these hospitals with fewer than 500 beds. In addition, we are now marketing our services to post-acute care facilities, of which there are approximately 15,500 in the United States.
In the acute care provider market, we are now actively marketing our EHR system to English speaking countries outside the United States, including Canada. We have established business relationships with key Canadian healthcare and technology providers which we believe will be a significant factor in penetrating the Canadian market. We have concluded our evaluation of the unique requirements of the Canadian healthcare system and are actively working on incorporating the necessary changes into our Thrive acute care EHR product.
Our goals in the inpatient hospital market are threefold: (1) target those hospitals under 100 beds in the United States that we believe are currently using a vendor that we have determined is vulnerable based on a variety of factors, (2) continue our efforts to expand into English speaking countries outside the U.S. through active marketing efforts and establishing strategic business relationships, and (3) selectively target hospitals in the 100 to 200 bed market that we believe offer a reasonable chance of sales success based on size, location and other factors. Our goal in the ambulatory market is to aggressively target physician practices in those communities where the local hospital is a current CPSI client.
Our goal in the post-acute care market is to continue to target both individual facilities as well as larger multi-facility corporate entities. In addition, we intend to extend our penetration into the post-acute care market by offering an assisted living facility EHR solution that we believe will broaden the appeal of our solutions to those operators who offer multiple care settings in their organizations.
The following table presents our revenues generated from clients located within the U.S. ("Domestic") and all foreign countries, in total ("International").
Year ended December 31,
(1) International sales revenues for 2018 are related solely to the Caribbean nation of St. Maarten, while revenues during 2019 and 2020 also include amounts related to the islands of Turks and Caicos, Canada, England, Australia, and the Netherlands.
We have dedicated sales organizations in all three business lines: acute care EHR, post-acute care EHR and business management, consulting and managed IT services. Many of our sales personnel are hired from within the Company and have previous experience in client support roles. We believe this experience positions them to more effectively sell our products and services within our target markets. Our sales organizations are generally divided into four areas: sales management, new client sales, existing client sales and sales support staff. New client sales staff are typically organized based on geographic territories, though we also have sales personnel that focus on national accounts in our post-acute care EHR business due to the number of national chain operators in that market. Our sales representatives who sell to existing clients have assigned clients within their territory, which is also geographically based. Some sales representatives in our services areas are assigned specifically to cross-sell services into our acute care EHR and post-acute care EHR client bases. A significant portion of the compensation for all sales personnel except for administrative support staff is commission based.
Our corporate marketing strategy positions CPSI as a healthcare solutions company serving community healthcare organizations through our family of healthcare information technology ("HCIT") companies. Our EHR software and services address providers across the care continuum, with a primary focus on the community healthcare market. We believe our ability to serve ambulatory, acute and post-acute care settings with our products will be especially appealing as new reimbursement models force the coordination of care by healthcare providers. Our ability to connect patients to care providers within their community and across communities through our own products and interoperability development, including our membership in the CommonWell Health Alliance, sets us apart from other competitors in our market. Our goal is to position ourselves as partners to community healthcare providers as they move to a more proactive care model based on the use of data analytics and patient engagement tools.
With regard to business management, consulting and managed IT services, we will continue to leverage our proven track record of success in accounts receivable management and private pay collections for community healthcare providers. With the increasing complexity of reimbursement requirements and a global shift in healthcare towards an increase in patient financial responsibility, the ability of our services business to bring expertise and best practice operational efficiencies to bear is a significant competitive advantage. In consulting services, the added complexity brought about by the transition to the ICD-10 code set, a standard transaction code set for diagnostic purposes under HIPAA, has created a significant demand for our coding services. Our strategy is to leverage any services engagement, whether business, IT or consulting, into opportunities to cross-sell other services to the client.
Backlog consists of revenues we reasonably expect to recognize over the next twelve months under existing contracts. The revenues to be recognized may relate to a combination of one-time fees for system sales and recurring fees for support and maintenance and TruBridge services. As of December 31, 2020, we had a twelve-month backlog of approximately $10 million in connection with non-recurring system purchases and approximately $242 million in connection with recurring payments under support and maintenance and TruBridge services. As of December 31, 2019, we had a twelve-month backlog of approximately $15 million in connection with non-recurring system purchases and approximately $235 million in connection with recurring payments under support and maintenance and TruBridge services.
The market for our products and services is competitive, and we expect additional competition from established and emerging companies in the future. Our market is characterized by rapidly changing technology, global shifts in the healthcare system, evolving user needs and impactful regulatory and reimbursement changes. We believe the principal competitive factors that hospitals, clinics and post-acute care providers consider when choosing between us and our competitors are:
•product features, functionality and performance;
•range of services offered;
•level of client service and satisfaction;
•ease of integration and speed of implementation;
•cost of services offered;
•results of services engagements;
•knowledge of the healthcare industry;
•sales and marketing efforts; and
We believe that we compete favorably with our competitors on these factors. Our principal competitors in the acute care EHR market are Cerner Corporation, Medical Information Technology, Inc. ("Meditech"), and MEDHOST, Inc. These companies compete with us directly in our target market of small and midsize hospitals. They offer products and systems that are comparable to our system and address the needs of hospitals in the markets we serve.
Our secondary competitors in the acute care EHR market include Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc. and Epic Systems Corporation. These companies are significantly larger than we are, and they typically sell their products and services to larger hospitals outside of our target market. However, they will sometimes compete with us directly or, more commonly, when a larger health system who uses a system from one of these companies will offer it to a smaller hospital as part of a merger or alliance.
We also face competition from providers of practice management systems, general decision support and database systems and other segment-specific applications. Any of these companies as well as other technology or healthcare companies could decide at any time to specifically target hospitals within our target market.
Our principal competitors in the post-acute care EHR market are PointClickCare Corporation and MatrixCare, Inc. These companies compete with us directly in our target market of long-term post-acute care facilities. They offer products and systems that are comparable to our system and address the needs of long-term care providers.
Our principal competitors in the business management, consulting and managed IT services market are Healthcare Resource Group, Inc., Resolution Health, Inc., The Outsource Group Inc., Patient Focus, Inc., Xtend Healthcare Inc., Ensemble Health Partners, and nThrive, Inc. All of these companies provide one or more of the services we offer, with their primary focus being on business management services. The services they offer are comparable in scope to the competing services we offer. These companies all focus on providing services to the healthcare market. Secondary competitors include ARx LLC, Citadel Outsource Group LLC, Patient Matters, LLC, KIWI-TEK, LLC, and Aviacode Inc. Our principle competitors for RCM solutions include RelayHealth Corp, SSI Group, LLC, Quadax Inc., Change Healthcare Holdings, Inc., Availity, LLC, and Navicure, Inc. Get Real Health's primary competitors include Relay Health, Get Well Network/Healthloop, Apollo Care Connect, Bridge Paitent Portal, eClinicalWorks Patient Portal, Influence Health, and InteliChart.
Actual or perceived security breaches of our systems could harm the market perception of our products and services which could impact our retention of existing clients and ability to acquire prospective clients.
Health Information Security and Privacy Practices
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 ("HIPAA") is a federal law governing the use, disclosure, transmission and storage of certain individually identifiable health information, referred to as "protected health information," and that was enacted for the purpose of, among other things, protecting the privacy and security of protected health information. As directed by HIPAA, the Department of Health and Human Services (the "DHHS") has promulgated standards and rules for certain electronic health transactions, code sets, data security, unique identification numbers and privacy of protected health information. HIPAA and the standards promulgated by DHHS apply to certain health plans, healthcare clearinghouses and healthcare providers (referred to as "covered entities"), which includes our hospital and post-acute care clients. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act and its implementing regulations published in January 2013 (the "HITECH Act") significantly expand HIPAA by extending privacy and security standards to "business associates" of healthcare providers that are covered entities. Under the HITECH Act, business associates are required to establish administrative, physical and technical safeguards and are subject to direct penalties for violations. Certain of our services frequently entail us acting as a healthcare clearinghouse and/or in the capacity of a business associate to the hospitals and post-acute care clients that we serve. As a result, we are covered by the patient privacy and security standards of HIPAA and subject to oversight by DHHS. We believe that we have taken all necessary steps to comply with HIPAA, as it applies to us as a business associate, but it is important to note that DHHS could, at any time in the future, adopt new rules or modify existing rules in a manner that could require us to change our systems or operations.
Protecting individually identifiable health information and other sensitive data is a critical and essential function of CPSI’s operations and its software solutions. A variety of industry-standard approaches that meet or exceed regulatory requirements such as HIPAA and HITECH are employed. In order to avoid unauthorized access for the life span of this data, diverse methods of identification, authentication, authorization and encryption are utilized at various points throughout the operating system, application software and hardware. These methods and processes are shared amongst servers and other end-user devices and are complemented by change management processes and tools, which allow the software change control cycle to be a formal, defined process.
Managing Cybersecurity Risks
Our business operations, including the provision of the products and services described above, involve the compilation and transmission of confidential information, including patient health information. We have included security features in our systems that are intended to protect the privacy and integrity of this information, but our systems may be vulnerable to security breaches, viruses, programming errors and other similar disruptive problems.
The Board of Directors is responsible for exercising oversight of management’s identification of, and planning for, the material risks facing the Company, and we believe our policies and procedures are adequate to ensure that relevant information about cybersecurity risks and incidents is appropriately reported and disclosed. During 2020, the Board authorized the formation of an Innovation and Technology Committee comprised of members of the Board. This Committee’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to, more closely monitoring and collaborating with the Company’s Governance, Risk & Compliance (“GRC”) Committee. The purpose of the GRC is to assist the Board in fulfilling its oversight responsibility with respect to the Company's risk management, ethics programs, and information security/privacy programs. The oversight responsibility of the GRC includes, but is not limited to, planning and conducting audits, conducting investigations, assuring compliance with relevant laws, and ensuring compliance with the Company's Code of Conduct and Business Ethics and related policies. The GRC consists of a cross functional leadership team including the Executive Vice President, Chief Technology Officer, Corporate Information Security Officer, Corporate Compliance Officer, Corporate Counsel, and Chief Financial Officer.
Additionally, we appointed a Security Operations Center ("SOC") Director to oversee a number of initiatives designed to improve our cybersecurity protection, readiness and response. The Company partnered with a third party to provide Security as a Service ("SECaaS") to assist our internal SOC in reducing the likelihood and impact of a cybersecurity attack. The SOC oversees penetration testing, vulnerability scanning, intrusion prevention, endpoint and insider threat detection, log management and other cybersecurity-related projects. The Company consulted with third parties in 2017 and 2018 to conduct an evaluation of our cybersecurity risks. The Company also consulted with third parties during 2019 and 2020 related to the Company's efforts to achieve ISO 27001 certification related to information security management, which was achieved during 2020. Finally, all users employed by or contracted to the Company are required to complete annual cybersecurity education and training, which includes identifying suspicious emails, internet threats, telecommunication threats and ransomware.
Early in 2020, it became apparent that, for the safety and well-being of employees in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Company would need to transition from a primarily work-from-office based workforce to a work-from-home based workforce. A phased approach was designed in order for our employees to remain focused on maintaining daily operations, continuing a high level of client support and minimizing impact to the culture, all while not introducing vulnerabilities into our information
technology systems. While the vast majority of employees were fully remote in a very short period of time, those unable to work remotely continued to work from the office following guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although a portion of our workforce has returned to in-office environments, the successful expansion of work-from-home arrangements during the past year, in terms of employee productivity and satisfaction, has resulted in many of these arrangements becoming permanent. As such, we anticipate that our go-forward workforce will be more heavily distributed to remote work environments.
We regard some aspects of our internal operations, software and documentation as proprietary, and rely primarily on a combination of contract and trade secret laws to protect our proprietary information. We believe, because of the rapid pace of technological change in the computer software industry, trade secret and copyright protection is less significant than factors such as the knowledge, ability and experience of our employees, frequent software product enhancements and the timeliness and quality of our support services. The source code for our proprietary software is protected as a trade secret. We enter into confidentiality or license agreements with our employees, consultants and clients, and control access to and distribution of our software, documentation and other proprietary information. We cannot guarantee that these protections will be adequate or that our competitors will not independently develop technologies that are substantially equivalent or superior to our technology.
We do not believe our software products or other CPSI proprietary rights infringe on the property rights of third parties. However, we cannot guarantee that third parties will not assert infringement claims against us with respect to current or future software products or that any such assertion may not require us to enter into royalty arrangements or result in costly litigation.
Material Government Regulations
Our business operations are subject to various federal and state laws, and our products and services are governed by a number of rules and regulations. For example, we are affected by the following regulations:
•As discussed above, the HIPAA security and privacy standards affect our claims transmission services, since those services must be structured and provided in a way that supports our clients’ HIPAA compliance obligations.
•The United States Food and Drug Administration (the “FDA”) has determined that certain of our solutions, such as our ImageLink® product, are medical devices that are actively regulated under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, as amended.
•The use of our solutions by physicians for electronic prescribing and electronic routing of prescriptions via the Surescripts network to pharmacies is governed by federal and state laws. States have differing regulations that govern the electronic transmission of certain prescriptions and prescription requirements.
Although there is no assurance that existing or future government laws, rules and other regulations applicable to our operations, products or services will not have a material adverse effect on our capital expenditures, results of operations and competitive position, we do not currently anticipate materially increased expenditures in response to government regulations or future material impacts to our results or competitiveness. These regulations and related risks are described in more detail below under “Risk Factors” beginning on page 23 of this Annual Report.
As of December 31, 2020, we had approximately 2,000 employees, the substantial majority of which are located at our offices in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota. None of our employees are covered by a collective bargaining agreement or are represented by a labor union with respect to his or her employment with us. We have not experienced any work stoppages and we consider our relations with our employees to be good.
We recognize that attracting, motivating, developing and retaining talent at all levels is vital to continuing our success. By improving employee satisfaction, retention and engagement, we also improve our ability to support our customers and protect the long-term interests of our stockholders.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, our primary focus has been the safety and well-being of our employees and their families. We implemented significant changes that we determined were in the best interests of our employees as well as the communities
in which we operate. This includes having the vast majority of our employees work from home, while implementing additional safety measures for employees continuing critical on-site work. All employees were offered no-cost telemedicine visits for any COVID-related symptoms or illness. Increased flexibility in hours and days was also offered to our in-office employees as childcare or other needs dictated. Additionally, at the onset of the pandemic, we notified our employees that we would not execute any payroll cost mitigation efforts in response to COVID-19 through July 31, 2020. Out of sincere commitment to and concern for our employees, their families and communities, we have not to date executed any pandemic-related reduction-in-force or furlough action plans.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Our goal is to be a desirable place to work, where everyone is inspired to be the best they can be and feels empowered to openly express opinions and ideas that help drive innovation. We will achieve our goal through our relentless commitment to create an inclusive and respectful culture across our family of companies. We are steadfast in our responsibility to embrace the diversity of all people and demonstrate our values – collaborative, dependable, proactive, empathetic and agile - with an unwavering focus on those essential to the Company achieving sustainable and meaningful growth. We have a long-standing commitment to equal employment opportunity ("EEO"), as evidenced by the Company’s EEO policy.
As part of our commitment to continued enhancements in this area, in 2020, we launched our Inclusion, Diversity, Equity Alliance ("IDEA"). This council is made up of employees from across multiple diversity dimensions, including by business, functional area, role, geography, gender, age and race. The council has established strategic objectives to strengthen the promotion of workplace diversity for our employees, to create a collaborative environment that promotes authenticity and a culture that celebrates differences, unique experiences and diverse perspectives. The Company's diversity, equity and inclusion strategy, supported by IDEA, will enhance company-wide engagement on diversity and inclusion, provide educational opportunities for our employees, help identify areas for improvement and monitor progress against these initiatives.
Compensation and Benefits
We compensate employees with competitive wages and benefit programs designed to meet employee needs. Our compensation program is designed to recognize our employees' contributions to value creation and business results. We use a combination of fixed and variable pay including base salary, bonus, commissions and merit increases which vary across the Company. In addition, as part of our incentive plan for executives and certain employees, we provide share based compensation to attract, retain and motivate our key leaders. For further information concerning our equity incentive plans, see Note 9, Stock-based Compensation and Equity.
As the success of our business is fundamentally connected to the well-being of our people, our healthcare and benefit programs focus on three key pillars: physical, emotional, and financial well-being. We provide eligible employees with access to flexible and convenient healthcare programs intended to meet the needs of their families. We offer a wide array of benefits including comprehensive health and welfare insurances, a 401(K) plan with employer-match, generous time-off, paid maternity leave, identity theft insurance, and financial support. We provide emotional well-being services through our medical carrier and associated Employee Assistance Program. In addition, our financial education tools offer employees resources to reach their personal financial goals.
Our goal is to create opportunities for employee growth, development, education and training, including opportunities to cultivate talent and identify candidates for new roles from within the Company. We strive to ensure that we have the right leaders in place to drive our strategic initiatives not only today but also into the future. We are committed to a safe workplace and an ethical environment in which employees are respected in a culture of belonging and dignity and in which they can continually develop their skills and expertise to advance their careers.
We also believe that ongoing performance feedback encourages greater engagement in our business and improved individual performance. Each year, our employees participate in our Performance Development Program that summarizes key accomplishments for the preceding year, establishes new goals, and identifies critical capabilities for development. We encourage managers to solicit and share supportive 360-degree feedback, further strengthening the focus on teamwork and team success.
Our key talent philosophy is to develop talent from within and supplement with external hires. This approach has yielded a deep understanding among our employee base of our business, vision, products, services and clients, while adding new employees
and ideas in support of our continuous improvement mindset. As a direct result of the operational COVID-19 pandemic adjustments made to the organization during 2020, the opportunity became available to offer more work from home positions, whereas before, they would have been conducted from within an office space. Leveraging work collaboration tools and other technologies, the ability to hire remote employees has supported our efforts to grow our internal talent and welcome employees from diverse backgrounds and geographies, creating deeper team collaboration and a more engaging client experience. Our recruitment team uses internal and external resources to recruit diverse, highly skilled and talented workers, and we encourage employee referrals for open positions.
Communication and Engagement
Given the geographic diversity of our workforce, we use multiple modalities in our communication efforts. Our email and the employee hotline have been bolstered by the inclusion of all-employee texting and weekly all-employee communications. Other efforts include live teleconference all-employee meetings hosted by a variety of our leaders. Additionally, leaders participate in monthly business updates that facilitate awareness of business initiatives, progress and results. These meetings encourage cross-functional collaboration and help ensure that teams are not working in silos. These efforts have led to our ability to deliver a more consistent message across all of our constituencies and thereby improve engagement.
The executive officers of CPSI serve at the pleasure of the Board of Directors. Set forth below is a list of the current executive officers of CPSI and a brief explanation of each individual’s principal employment during the last five years.
J. Boyd Douglas – President and Chief Executive Officer. J. Boyd Douglas, age 54, has served as our President and Chief Executive Officer since May 2006. He was first elected as a director in March 2002. Mr. Douglas began his career with us in August 1988 as a Financial Software Support Representative. From May 1990 until November 1994, Mr. Douglas served as Manager of Electronic Billing, and from December 1994 until July 1999, he held the position of Director of Programming Services. From July 1999 until May 2006, Mr. Douglas served as our Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
David A. Dye – Chief Growth Officer. David A. Dye, age 51, was appointed as our Chief Growth Officer in November 2015, having previously served as our Chief Financial Officer, Secretary and Treasurer from June 2010 until November 2015. Mr. Dye served as our President and Chief Executive Officer from July 1999 to May 2006. He was first elected as a director in March 2002 and served as our Chairman of the Board from May 2006 until April 2019. Mr. Dye began his career with CPSI in May 1990 as a Financial Software Support Representative and served in various capacities until July 1999. Mr. Dye served as a director of Bulow Biotech Prosthetics, LLC, a company headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee that operates prosthetic clinics in the Southeastern United States, from July 2006 until October 2018.
Christopher L. Fowler – Chief Operating Officer and President (TruBridge). Christopher L. Fowler, age 45, was appointed as our Chief Operating Officer in November 2015 and has served as the President of TruBridge since its formation in January 2013. Prior to the formation of TruBridge, Mr. Fowler served as CPSI’s Vice President - Business Management Services, beginning in March 2008. Mr. Fowler began his career with CPSI in May 2000 as a Software Support Representative and later as a manager of Financial Software Services. From August 2004 until March 2008, Mr. Fowler served as Assistant Director and Director of Business Management Services.
Matt J. Chambless – Chief Financial Officer, Secretary and Treasurer. Matt J. Chambless, age 40, was appointed as our Chief Financial Officer, Secretary and Treasurer in November 2015, having previously served as our Director of Financial Reporting from March 2012 until November 2015. Prior to joining CPSI, Mr. Chambless served as the Accounting Manager for Northside Hospital System from May 2011 until March 2012 and as an audit professional, including an Audit Manager, for Grant Thornton, LLP from August 2004 to May 2011.
Robert D. Hinckle – Senior Vice President–Client Services. Robert D. Hinckle, age 51, served as our Vice President - Software Services from October 2004 until January 2013 and has served as our Senior Vice President - Client Services since January 2013. Since beginning his career with CPSI in 1995 as a Financial Software Support Representative, Mr. Hinckle has worked in various positions in our Software Services Division, including Team Manager, Assistant Director and Director of that division.
Troy D. Rosser – Senior Vice President–Sales. Troy D. Rosser, age 56, has served as our Senior Vice President - Sales since January 2012, having previously served as Vice President - Sales since October 2005. Mr. Rosser began his career with us in March 1989 as a Financial Software Support Representative. In 1992, Mr. Rosser was transferred to the Sales and Marketing division where he has worked in various positions, including Sales Manager and, from October 2000 until October 2005, Director of Sales.
Company Web Site
The Company maintains a web site at http://www.cpsi.com. The Company makes available on its web site, free of charge, its Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, and all amendments to those reports, as soon as it is reasonably practicable after such material is electronically filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company is not including the information contained on or available through its web site as a part of, or incorporating such information into, this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
These are not the only risks and uncertainties that we face. Our business, financial condition, operating results, and stock price can be materially and adversely affected by a number of factors, whether currently known or unknown, including, but not limited to, those described below. Any one or more of such factors could directly or indirectly cause our actual financial condition and operating results to vary materially from our past or anticipated future financial condition or operating results.
RISKS RELATED TO OUR INDUSTRY
The impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and related economic disruptions have materially affected our revenue and could materially affect our gross margin and income, as well as our financial position and/or liquidity.
Beginning in March 2020, the global pandemic related to the novel coronavirus COVID-19 began to impact the global economy and our results of operations. Because of the size and breadth of this pandemic, all of the direct and indirect consequences of COVID-19 are not yet known and may not emerge for some time. Risks presented by the ongoing effects of COVI-19 include the following:
•Revenues, Gross Margin, and Income. The impact of COVID-19 on our community hospital client base, and the related decrease in patient volumes, have negatively impacted, and will continue to negatively impact, our variable revenues, gross margins and income driven by collection volume. Additionally, new EHR system installations have been, and will continue to be, negatively impacted by restrictive travel and social distancing protocols. We began to experience this impact in March 2020, which increased in significance in the second quarter of 2020 and persisted throughout the year. The Company expects these impacts to continue into 2021, but the degree of the impact will depend on the ability of our community hospital clients to return to normal operations and patient volume. In addition, although we have experienced no notable disruption to our operating cash flows through the date of this report, we currently expect that the aforementioned limitations on travel and decreased client patient volumes will ultimately result in decreased cash collections from our customers as long as these conditions persist. For further discussion, see “Failure to maintain our margins and services rates for implementation services could have a material adverse effect on our operating performance and financial conditions”.
•Adverse Legislative and/or Regulatory Action. Federal, state and local government actions to address and contain the impact of COVID-19 have adversely affected and may continue to adversely affect us. For further discussion, see “There is significant uncertainty in the healthcare industry, both as a result of recently enacted legislation and changing government regulation, which may have a material adverse impact on the businesses of our hospital clients and ultimately on our business, financial condition and results of operations”.
•Operational Disruptions and Heightened Cybersecurity Risks. Our operations could be disrupted if key members of our senior management or a significant percentage of our workforce or the workforce of our client community hospitals are unable to work because of illness, government directives or otherwise. Having shifted to remote working arrangements, we also face a heightened risk of cybersecurity attacks or data security incidents and are more dependent on the internet and telecommunications access and capabilities. For further discussion, see “Breaches of security and viruses in our systems could result in client claims against us and harm to our reputation causing us to incur expenses and/or lose clients”.
The extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic will impact our financial condition and results of operations will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and difficult to predict, including, but not limited to, the duration and spread of the pandemic, its severity, the actions to contain the virus or treat its impact, the speed at which vaccines are deployed and their effectiveness against COVID-19 variants and how quickly and to what extent normal economic and operating conditions can resume. Even after the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided, we may experience material adverse impacts to our business as a result of the global or U.S. economic impact and any recession that has occurred or may occur in the future. There are no comparable recent events that provide guidance as to the effect the COVID-19 pandemic may have, and, as a result, the ultimate impact of the pandemic on our operations and financial results is highly uncertain and subject to change. There can be no assurance that any decrease in sales resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic will be offset by increased sales in subsequent periods.
Additionally, concerns over the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic have caused extreme volatility in financial and other capital markets which has and may continue to adversely impact our stock price and may adversely impact our ability to
access capital, at all or on reasonable terms. To the extent the COVID-19 pandemic adversely affects our business and financial results, it may also have the effect of heightening many of the other risks described herein.
There are a limited number of hospitals in our target market. Saturation or consolidation in the healthcare industry could result in the loss of existing clients, a reduction in our potential client base and downward pressure on the prices of our products and services.
The limited number of hospitals with fewer than 200 acute care beds in our general target market for our acute care product and service offerings has resulted in an ever narrowing market for new system installations and add-on sales which could materially and adversely impact our business, financial condition and operating results.
Our primary objectives are to increase the market share of our TruBridge services, aggressively pursue competitive and vulnerable EHR replacement opportunities, and differentiate our products and services on a client experience basis that enables us to sell a broader set of services into a loyal base of clients that are our advocates. Although we have formulated strategic responses for capitalizing on each of the identified opportunities, there is no guarantee that such responses will ultimately prove successful. Additionally, to the extent that these opportunities fail to develop or develop more slowly than expected, our business, financial condition and operating results could be materially and adversely impacted.
Furthermore, many healthcare providers have consolidated to create larger healthcare delivery enterprises with greater market power. If this consolidation continues, we could lose existing clients and could experience a decrease in the number of potential purchasers of our products and services. The loss of existing and potential clients due to industry consolidation could cause our revenue growth rate to decline.
Economic, market and other factors may cause a decline in spending for information technology and services by our current and prospective clients which may result in less demand for our products, lower prices and, consequently, lower revenues and a lower revenue growth rate.
The purchase of our information system involves a significant financial commitment by our clients. At the same time, the healthcare industry faces significant financial pressures that could adversely affect overall spending on healthcare information technology and services. For example, the COVID-induced recession, combined with actual and potential further reductions in federal and state funding for Medicare and Medicaid, has caused hospitals to reduce, eliminate or postpone information technology related and other spending. To the extent spending for healthcare information technology and services declines or increases slower than we anticipate, demand for our products and services, as well as the prices we charge, could be adversely affected. Accordingly, we cannot assure you that we will be able to increase or maintain our revenues or our revenue growth rate.
There is significant uncertainty in the healthcare industry, both as a result of recently enacted legislation and changing government regulation, which may have a material adverse impact on the businesses of our hospital clients and ultimately on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
The healthcare industry is subject to changing political, economic and regulatory influences that may affect the procurement processes and operation of healthcare facilities, including our hospital clients. During the past decade, the healthcare industry has been subject to increased legislation and regulation of, among other things, reimbursement rates, payment programs, information technology programs and certain capital expenditures (collectively, the "Health Reform Laws").
The Health Reform Laws contain various provisions which impact us and our clients. Some of these provisions have a positive impact, by expanding the use of electronic health records in certain federal programs, for example, while others, such as reductions in reimbursement for certain types of providers, have a negative impact due to fewer available resources. The continued increase in fraud and abuse penalties is expected to adversely affect participants in the healthcare sector, including us.
Among other things, the Health Reform Laws provide for the expansion of Medicaid eligibility, mandate material changes to the delivery of healthcare services and reduce the reimbursement paid for such services in order to generate savings in the Medicare program. The Health Reform Laws also modify certain payment systems to encourage more cost-effective, quality-based care and a reduction of inefficiencies and waste, including through various tools to address fraud and abuse.
The Health Reform Laws will continue to affect hospitals differently depending upon the populations they serve and their payor mix. Our target market of community hospitals typically serve higher uninsured populations than larger urban hospitals and rely more heavily on Medicare and Medicaid for reimbursement. It remains to be seen whether the increase in the insured population for community hospitals will be sufficient to offset actual and proposed additional cuts in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements contained in the Health Reform Laws.
The Health Reform Laws are leading to significant changes in the healthcare system, but the full impact of the legislation and of further statutory and regulatory actions to reform healthcare on our business is unknown. As a result, there can be no assurances that the legislation will not adversely impact either our operational results or the manner in which we operate our business. We believe some healthcare industry participants have reduced their investments or postponed investment decisions, including investments in our solutions and services.
Cost-containment measures instituted by healthcare providers as a result of regulatory reform or otherwise could result in a reduced allocation of capital funds. Such a reduction could have an adverse effect on our ability to sell our systems and related services. Although the new Biden administration promises to prioritize public health by fortifying and expanding implementation of such laws and legislation, we cannot predict what effect, if any, such additional proposals or healthcare reforms might have on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
As existing regulations mature and become better defined, we anticipate that these regulations will continue to directly affect certain of our products and services, but we cannot fully predict the effect at this time. We have taken steps to modify our products, services and internal practices as necessary to facilitate our compliance with the regulations, but there can be no assurance that we will be able to do so in a timely or complete manner. Achieving compliance with these regulations could be costly and distract management’s attention and divert other company resources, and any noncompliance by us could result in civil and criminal penalties.
The healthcare industry is heavily regulated at the local, state and federal levels. Our failure to comply with regulatory requirements could create liability for us, result in adverse publicity and negatively affect our business.
The healthcare industry is heavily regulated and is constantly evolving due to the changing political, legislative and regulatory landscapes. In some instances, the impact of these regulations on our business is direct to the extent that we are subject to these laws and regulations ourselves. However, these regulations also impact our business indirectly as, in a number of circumstances, our solutions, devices and services must be capable of being used by our clients in a way that complies with those laws and regulations, even though we may not be directly regulated by the specific healthcare laws and regulations. There is a significant number of wide-ranging regulations, including regulations in the areas of healthcare fraud, e-prescribing, claims processing and transmission, medical devices, the security and privacy of patient data, the ARRA meaningful use program, patient access rights and interoperability standards, that may be directly or indirectly applicable to our operations and relationships or the business practices of our clients. Specific areas that are subject to increased regulation include, but are not limited to, the following:
Healthcare Fraud. Federal and state governments continue to enhance regulation of and increase their scrutiny over practices potentially involving healthcare fraud, waste and abuse by healthcare providers whose services are reimbursed by Medicare, Medicaid and other government healthcare programs. Our healthcare provider clients are subject to laws and regulations regarding fraud and abuse that, among other things, prohibit the direct or indirect payment or receipt of any remuneration for patient referrals, or arranging for or recommending referrals or other business paid for in whole or in part by these federal or state healthcare programs. Federal enforcement personnel have substantial funding, powers and remedies to pursue suspected or perceived fraud and abuse. The effect of this government regulation on our clients is difficult to predict. Many of the regulations applicable to our clients and that may be applicable to us, including those relating to marketing incentives offered in connection with medical device sales may be interpreted or applied by a prosecutorial, regulatory or judicial authority in a manner that could broaden their applicability to us or require our clients to make changes in their operations or the way in which they deal with us. If such laws and regulations are determined to be applicable to us and if we fail to comply with any applicable laws and regulations, we could be subject to civil and criminal penalties, sanctions or other liabilities, including exclusion from government healthcare programs, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. Even an unsuccessful challenge by a regulatory or prosecutorial authority of our activities could result in adverse publicity, could require a costly response from us and could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
E-Prescribing. The use of our solutions by physicians for electronic prescribing and electronic routing of prescriptions via the Surescripts network to pharmacies is governed by federal and state laws. States have differing regulations that govern the electronic transmission of certain prescriptions and prescription requirements. Standards adopted by the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs and regulations adopted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ("CMS") related to "EPrescribing and the Prescription Drug Program" set forth implementation standards for the transmission of electronic prescriptions. These standards are detailed and broad, and cover not only routing transactions between prescribers and pharmacies, but also electronic eligibility, formulary and benefits inquiries. In general, regulations in this area can be burdensome and evolve regularly, meaning that any potential benefits to our clients from utilizing such solutions and services
may be superseded by a newly-promulgated regulation that adversely affects our business model. Our efforts to provide solutions that enable our clients to comply with these regulations could be time consuming and expensive.
Claims Processing and Transmission. Our system electronically transmits medical claims by physicians to patients’ payors for immediate approval and reimbursement. In addition, we offer business management services that include the manual and electronic processing and submission of medical claims by healthcare providers to patients’ payors for approval and reimbursement. Federal and state laws provide that it is a violation for any person to submit, or cause to be submitted, a claim to any payor, including, without limitation, Medicare, Medicaid and all private health plans and managed care plans, seeking payment for any service or product that overbills or bills for items that have not been provided to the patient. We have in place policies and procedures that we believe assure that all claims that are transmitted by our system and through our services are accurate and complete, provided that the information given to us by our clients is also accurate and complete. If, however, we do not follow those procedures and policies, or they are not sufficient to prevent inaccurate claims from being submitted, we could be subject to substantial liability including, but not limited to, civil and criminal liability. Additionally, any such failure of our billing and collection services to comply with these laws and regulations could adversely affect demand for our services and could force us to expend significant capital, research and development, and other resources to address the failure.
Where we are permitted to do so, we calculate charges for our billing and collection services based on a percentage of the collections that our clients receive as a result of our services. To the extent that violations or liability for violations of these laws and regulations require intent, it may be alleged that this percentage calculation provides us or our employees with incentive to commit or overlook fraud or abuse in connection with submission and payment of reimbursement claims. CMS has stated that it is concerned that percentage-based billing services may encourage billing companies to commit or to overlook fraudulent or abusive practices.
A portion of our business involves billing Medicare claims on behalf of our clients. In an effort to combat fraudulent Medicare claims, the federal government offers rewards for reporting of Medicare fraud which could encourage others to subject us to a charge of fraudulent claims, including charges that are ultimately proved to be without merit.
As discussed below, the HIPAA security and privacy standards also affect our claims transmission services, since those services must be structured and provided in a way that supports our clients’ HIPAA compliance obligations.
Regulation of Medical Devices. The United States Food and Drug Administration (the "FDA") has determined that certain of our solutions, such as our ImageLink® product, are medical devices that are actively regulated under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, as amended. If other of our solutions are deemed to be actively regulated medical devices by the FDA, we could be subject to extensive requirements governing pre- and post-marketing activities including registration of the applicable manufacturing facility and software and hardware products, application of detailed record-keeping and manufacturing standards, application of the medical device excise tax, and FDA approval or clearance prior to marketing. Complying with these medical device regulations is time consuming and expensive, and our marketing and other sales activities could be subject to unanticipated and significant delays. Further, it is possible that the FDA may become more active in regulating software and medical devices that are used in the healthcare industry. If we are unable to obtain the required regulatory approvals for any such software or medical devices, our short- to long-term business plans for these solutions or medical devices could be delayed or canceled and we could face FDA refusal to grant pre-market clearance or approval of products; withdrawal of existing clearances and approvals; fines, injunctions or civil penalties; recalls or product corrections; production suspensions; and criminal prosecution. FDA regulation of our products could increase our operating costs, delay or prevent the marketing of new or existing products, and adversely affect our revenue growth.
Security and Privacy of Patient Information. Federal, state and local laws regulate the privacy and security of patient records and the circumstances under which those records may be released. These regulations govern both the disclosure and use of confidential patient medical record information and require the users of such information to implement specified security and privacy measures. United States regulations currently in place governing electronic health data transmissions continue to evolve and are often unclear and difficult to apply.
In the United States, HIPAA regulations require national standards for some types of electronic health information transactions and the data elements used in those transactions, security standards to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of health information, and standards to protect the privacy of individually identifiable health information. Covered entities under HIPAA, which include healthcare organizations such as our clients, and our claims processing, transmission and submission services, are required to comply with the privacy standards, transaction regulations and security regulations. Moreover, HITECH and associated regulatory requirements extend many of the HIPAA obligations, formerly imposed only upon covered entities, to business associates as well. As a business associate of our clients who are covered entities, we are in most instances already contractually required to ensure compliance with the HIPAA regulations as they pertain to the handling of covered client data.
However, the extension of these HIPAA obligations to business associates by law has created a direct liability risk related to the privacy and security of individually identifiable health information.
Evolving HIPAA and HITECH-related laws or regulations could restrict the ability of our clients to obtain, use or disseminate patient information. This could adversely affect demand for our solutions and devices if they are not re-designed in a timely manner in order to meet the requirements of any new interpretations or regulations that seek to protect the privacy and security of patient data or enable our clients to execute new or modified healthcare transactions. We may need to expend additional capital and software development and other resources to modify our solutions to address these evolving data security and privacy issues. Furthermore, our failure to maintain the confidentiality of sensitive personal information in accordance with the applicable regulatory requirements could damage our reputation and expose us to claims, fines and penalties.
Federal and state statutes and regulations have granted broad enforcement powers to regulatory agencies to investigate and enforce compliance with these privacy and security laws and regulations. Federal and state enforcement personnel have substantial funding, powers and remedies to pursue suspected or perceived violations. If we fail to comply with any applicable laws or regulations, we could be subject to civil penalties, sanctions or other liability. Enforcement investigations, even if meritless, could have a negative impact on our reputation, cause us to lose existing clients or limit our ability to attract new clients.
ARRA Meaningful Use Program. The ARRA initially required "meaningful use of certified electronic health record technology" by healthcare providers by 2015 in order to receive limited incentive payments and to avoid related reduced reimbursement rates for Medicare claims. Related standards and specifications are subject to interpretation by the entities designated to certify such technology. While a combination of our solutions has been certified as meeting stage one, stage two, and stage three standards for certified electronic health record technology, the regulatory standards to achieve certification will continue to evolve over time. We may incur increased development costs and delays in delivering solutions if we need to upgrade our software or healthcare devices to be in compliance with these varying and evolving standards. In addition, further delays in interpreting these standards may result in postponement or cancellation of our clients’ decisions to purchase our software solutions. If our software solutions are not compliant with these evolving standards, our market position and sales could be impaired and we may have to invest significantly in changes to our software solutions.
Interoperability Standards. Our clients are concerned with and often require that our software and systems be interoperable with other third party healthcare information technology systems. Market forces or governmental or regulatory authorities could create software interoperability standards that would apply to our software and systems, and if our software and systems are not consistent with those standards, we could be forced to incur substantial additional development costs. For example, the HITECH Act contains interoperability standards that healthcare providers are required to adhere to in order to receive stimulus funds from the federal government under the ARRA. Compliance with these and related standards is becoming a competitive requirement and, although a combination of our solutions has been certified as meeting all such required interoperability standards to date, maintaining such compliance with these varying and evolving rules may result in increased development costs and delays in upgrading our client software and systems. To the extent these rules are narrowly construed, subsequently changed or supplemented, or that we are delayed in achieving certification under these evolving rules for applicable products, our clients may postpone or cancel their decisions to purchase or implement our software and systems.
As it relates specifically to interoperability, we are a member of CommonWell Health Alliance ("CommonWell"), a not-for-profit trade association comprised of healthcare information technology vendors devoted to the notion that patient data should be safely, securely and immediately available to patients and healthcare providers to support better care delivery, regardless of where that care occurs. CommonWell is committed to fostering standards that make this possible, and to having healthcare information technology companies embed these capabilities natively and cost effectively into their EHR systems. Despite our membership in CommonWell, there is no guarantee that we will successfully manage the interoperability of our software and systems with third-party health IT providers.
Patient Access Rights. In March 2020, the Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology ("ONC") of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS") released the "21st Century Cures Act: Interoperablity, Information Blocking, and the ONC Health IT Certification Program, Final Rule." The rule implements several of the key interoperability provisions included in the 21st Century Cures Act. Specifically, it calls on developers of certified EHRs and health IT products to adopt standardized application programming interfaces ("API's"), which will help allow individuals to securely and easily access structured and unstructured EHI formats using smartphones and other mobile devices. This provision and others included in the new rule create a potentially lengthy list of new certification and maintenance of certification requirements that developers of EHRs and other health IT products have to meet in order to maintain approved federal government certification status. Meeting and maintaining this certification status could require additional development costs.
The ONC rule also implements the information blocking provisions of the 21st Century Cure Act, including identifying reasonable and necessary activities that do not constitute information blocking. Under the 21st Century Cures Act, the HHS has the regulatory authority to investigate and assess civil monetary penalties of up to $1,000,000 against health IT developers and/or providers found to be guilty of "information blocking." This new oversight and authority to investigate claims of information blocking creates significant risks for us and our clients and could potentially create substantial new compliance costs.
In December 2020, in order to allow the U.S. health care system to focus on addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, ONC extended the applicability date for the information blocking provisions to April 5, 2021 and delayed compliance dates and timeframes for certain other program requirements.
Standards for Submission of Healthcare Claims. Effective October 2015, CMS mandated the use of new patient codes for reporting medical diagnosis and inpatient procedures, referred to as the ICD-10 codes. CMS requires all providers, payors, clearinghouses and billing services to utilize these ICD-10 codes when submitting claims for payment. ICD-10 codes affect medical diagnosis and inpatient procedure coding for everyone covered by HIPAA, not just those who submit Medicare or Medicaid claims. Claims for services must use ICD-10 codes for medical diagnosis and inpatient procedures or they will not be paid. While we have successfully implemented the use of ICD-10 codes within our products and services, the possibility exists for similar future mandates by CMS. If our products and services do not accommodate CMS mandates at any future date, clients may cease to use those products and services that are not compliant and may choose alternative vendors and products that are compliant. This could adversely impact future revenues.
RISKS RELATED TO OUR BUSINESS
Competition with companies that have greater financial, technical and marketing resources than we have could result in a loss of clients and/or a lowering of prices for our products, causing a decrease in our revenues and/or market share.
Our principal competitors are Cerner Corporation, Medical Information Technology, Inc. ("Meditech"), and MEDHOST, Inc. These companies compete with us directly in our target market of small and midsize hospitals. They offer products and systems that are comparable to our solutions and address the needs of hospitals in the markets we serve.
Our secondary competitors in the acute care EHR market include Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc. and Epic Systems Corporation. These companies are significantly larger than we are, and they typically sell their products and services to larger hospitals outside of our target market. However, they will sometimes compete with us directly or, more commonly, a larger health system who uses a system provided by one of these competitors will offer it to a smaller hospital as part of a merger or alliance.
We also face competition from providers of practice management systems, general decision support and database systems, and other segment-specific applications. Any of these companies, as well as other technology or healthcare companies could decide at any time to specifically target hospitals within our target market.
Our principal competitors in the post-acute care EHR market are PointClickCare Corporation and MatrixCare, Inc. These companies compete with us directly in our target market of long-term post-acute care facilities. They offer products and systems that are comparable to our system and address the needs of long-term care providers.
Our principal competitors in the business management, consulting and managed IT services market are Healthcare Resource Group, Inc., Resolution Health, Inc., The Outsource Group Inc., Patient Focus, Inc., Xtend Healthcare Inc., Ensemble Health Partners, and nThrive, Inc. All of these companies provide one or more of the services we offer, with their primary focus being on business management services. The services they offer are comparable in scope to the competing services we offer. These companies all focus on providing services to the healthcare market. Secondary competitors include ARx LLC, Citadel Outsource Group LLC, Patient Matters, LLC, KIWI-TEK, LLC, and Aviacode Inc. Our principle competitors for RCM solutions include RelayHealth Corp, SSI Group, LLC, Quadax Inc., Change Healthcare Holdings, Inc., Availity, LLC, and Navicure, Inc. Get Real Health's primary competitors include Relay Health, Get Well Network/Healthloop, Apollo Care Connect, Bridge Paitent Portal, eClinicalWorks Patient Portal, Influence Health, and InteliChart.
A number of existing and potential competitors are more established than we are and have greater name recognition and financial, technical and marketing resources. Products of our competitors may have better performance, lower prices and broader market acceptance than our products. We expect increased competition that could cause us to lose clients, lower our prices to remain competitive and, consequently, experience lower revenues, revenue growth and profit margins.
We may engage in future acquisitions. Such strategic acquisitions may be expensive, time consuming, and subject to other inherent risks which may jeopardize our ability to realize anticipated benefits.
We may acquire additional businesses, technologies and products if we determine that these additional businesses, technologies and products are likely to serve our strategic goals. Acquisitions have inherent risks, which may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, operating results or prospects, including, but not limited to the following:
•significant acquisition and integration costs;
•failure to achieve projected synergies and performance targets;
•potentially dilutive issuances of our securities, the incurrence of debt and contingent liabilities and amortization expenses related to intangible assets with indefinite useful lives, which could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition;
•using cash as acquisition currency may adversely affect interest or investment income, which may in turn adversely affect our earnings and/or earnings per share;
•difficulty in fully or effectively integrating the acquired technologies, software products, services, business practices or personnel, which would prevent us from realizing the intended benefits of the acquisition;
•failure to maintain uniform standard controls, policies and procedures across acquired businesses;
•difficulty in predicting and responding to issues related to product transition such as development, distribution and client support;
•the possible adverse effect of such acquisitions on existing relationships with third party partners and suppliers of technologies and services;
•the possibility that staff or clients of the acquired companies might not accept new ownership and may transition to different technologies or attempt to renegotiate contract terms or relationships, including maintenance or support agreements;
•the assumption of known and unknown liabilities;
•the possibility that the due diligence process in any such acquisition may not completely identify material issues associated with product quality, product architecture, product development, intellectual property issues, key personnel issues or legal and financial contingencies, including any deficiencies in internal controls and procedures and the costs associated with remedying such deficiencies;
•difficulty in entering geographic and/or business markets in which we have no or limited prior experience;
•diversion of management’s attention from other business concerns; and
•the possibility that acquired assets become impaired, requiring us to take a charge to earnings which could be significant.
A failure to successfully integrate acquired businesses or technology in a timely manner could, for any of these reasons, have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. As a result, we may not be able to realize the expected benefits that we seek to achieve from the acquisitions, which could also affect our ability to service our debt obligations. In addition, we may be required to spend additional time or money on integration that otherwise would be spent on the development and expansion of our business.
If we are unable to attract and retain qualified client service and support personnel, our business and operating results will suffer.
Our client service and support is a key component of our business. Most of our hospital clients have small information technology staffs, and they depend on us to service and support their systems. Future difficulty in attracting, training and retaining capable client service and support personnel could cause a decrease in the overall quality of our client service and support. That decrease would have a negative effect on client satisfaction which could cause us to lose existing clients and could have an adverse effect on our new client sales. The loss of clients due to inadequate client service and support would negatively impact our ability to continue to grow our business.
We periodically have restructured our sales force, which can be disruptive.
We continue to rely heavily on our direct sales force. Periodically, we have restructured or made other adjustments to our sales force in response to factors such as product changes, geographical coverage and other internal considerations. Change in the structures of the sales force and sales force management can result in temporary lack of focus and reduced productivity that may affect revenues in one or more quarters. Future restructuring of our sales force could occur, and if so we may again experience the adverse transition issues associated with such restructuring.
If we are unable to manage our growth in the new markets we may enter, our business and financial results could suffer.
Our future financial results will depend in part on our ability to profitably manage our business in new markets that we may enter. We are engaging in the strategic identification of, and competition for, growth and expansion opportunities in new markets or offerings. In order to successfully execute on these future initiatives, we will need to, among other things, manage changing business conditions and develop expertise in areas outside of our business's traditional core competencies. Difficulties in managing future growth in new markets could have a significant negative impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our international business activities and processes expose us to numerous and often conflicting laws, regulations, policies, standards or other requirements, and to risks that could harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our subsidiary, Get Real Health, sells patient engagement technology to hospital systems and government agencies in Canada, Australia, England, the United Arab Emirates and the Netherlands, directly and through resellers, and Evident has had limited sales of EHR software to government agencies in Canada and the Caribbean. Our business in these countries is subject to numerous risks inherent in international business operations. Among others, these risks include:
•data protection and privacy regulations regarding access by government authorities to customer, partner, or employee data;
•data residency requirements (the requirement to store certain data only in and, in some cases, also to access such data only from within a certain jurisdiction);
•conflict and overlap among tax regimes;
•possible tax constraints impeding business operations in certain countries;
•expenses associated with the localization of our products and compliance with local regulatory requirements;
•discriminatory or conflicting fiscal policies;
•operational difficulties in countries with a high corruption perception index;
•difficulties enforcing intellectual property and contractual rights in certain jurisdictions;
•country-specific software certification requirements;
•compliance with various industry standards; and
•market volatilities or workforce restrictions due to changing laws and regulations resulting from political decisions (e.g. Brexit, government elections).
As we expand into new countries and markets, these risks could intensify. The application of the respective local laws and regulations to our business is sometimes unclear, subject to change over time, and often conflicting among jurisdictions. Additionally, these laws and government approaches to enforcement are continuing to change and evolve, just as our products and services continually evolve. Compliance with these varying laws and regulations could involve significant costs or require changes in products or business practices. Non-compliance could result in the imposition of penalties or cessation of orders due to alleged non-compliant activity. We do not believe we have engaged in any activities sanctionable under these laws and regulations, but governmental authorities could use considerable discretion in applying these statutes and any imposition of sanctions against us could be material. One or more of these factors could have an adverse effect on our operations globally or in one or more countries or regions, which could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We face the risks and uncertainties that are associated with litigation against us, which may adversely impact our marketing, distract management and have a negative impact upon our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We face the risks associated with litigation concerning the operation of our business. For example, companies in our industry, including many of our competitors, have been subject to litigation based on allegations of patent infringement or other violations of intellectual property rights. In particular, patent holding companies often engage in litigation to seek to monetize patents that they have obtained. As the number of competitors, patents and patent holding companies in our industry increases, the functionality of our products and services expands, and we enter into new geographies and markets, the number of intellectual property rights-related actions against us is likely to continue to increase. The uncertainty associated with substantial unresolved litigation may have an adverse effect on our business. In particular, such litigation could impair our relationships with existing clients and our ability to obtain new clients. Defending such litigation may result in a diversion of management's time and attention away from business operations, which could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. Such litigation may also have the effect of discouraging potential acquirers from bidding for us or reducing the consideration such acquirers would otherwise be willing to pay in connection with an acquisition.
There can be no assurance that such litigation will not result in liability in excess of our insurance coverage, that our insurance will cover such claims or that appropriate insurance will continue to be available to us in the future at commercially reasonable rates.
RISKS RELATED TO OUR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
Our failure to develop new products or enhance current products in response to market demands could adversely impact our competitive position and require substantial capital resources to correct.
The needs of hospitals in our target market are subject to rapid change due to government regulation, trends in clinical care practices and technological advancements. As a result of these changes, our products may quickly become obsolete or less competitive. New product introductions and enhancements by our competitors that more effectively or timely respond to changing industry needs may weaken our competitive position.
We continually redesign and enhance our products to incorporate new technologies and adapt our products to ever-changing hardware and software platforms. Often we face difficult choices regarding which new technologies to adopt. If we fail to anticipate or respond adequately to technological advancements, or experience significant delays in product development or introduction, our competitive position could be negatively affected. Moreover, our failure to offer products acceptable to our target market could require us to make significant capital investments and incur higher operating costs to redesign our products, which could negatively affect our financial condition and operating results.
Our products assist clinical decision-making and related care by capturing, maintaining and reporting relevant patient data. If our products fail to provide accurate and timely information, our clients could assert claims against us that could result in substantial cost to us, harm our reputation in the industry and cause demand for our products to decline.
We provide products that assist clinical decision-making and related care by capturing, maintaining and reporting relevant patient data. Our products could fail or produce inaccurate results due to a variety of reasons, including mechanical error, product flaws, faulty installation and/or human error during the initial data conversion. If our products fail to provide accurate and timely information, clients and/or patients could sue us to hold us responsible for losses they incur from these errors. These lawsuits, regardless of merit or outcome, could result in substantial cost to us, divert management’s attention from operations and decrease market acceptance of our products. We attempt to limit by contract our liability for damages arising from negligence, errors or mistakes. Despite this precaution, such contract provisions may not be enforceable or may not otherwise protect us from liability for damages. We maintain general liability insurance coverage, including coverage for errors or omissions. However, this coverage may not be sufficient to cover one or more large claims against us or otherwise continue to be available on terms acceptable to us. In addition, the insurer could disclaim coverage as to any future claim.
Breaches of security and viruses in our systems could result in client claims against us and harm to our reputation causing us to incur expenses and/or lose clients.
In the course of our business operations, we compile and transmit confidential information, including patient health information. We have included security features in our systems that are intended to protect the privacy and integrity of this information. Despite the existence of these security features, our system may experience break-ins and similar disruptive problems that could jeopardize the security of information stored in and transmitted through the information technology networks of our clients. In addition, the other systems with which we may interface, such as the Internet and related systems, may be vulnerable to security breaches, viruses, programming errors or similar disruptive problems. Based on the size of our
company, the industry in which we operate, and the overall percentage of impacted companies in the same or similar industry, it is probable there will be attempts to breach our security. Healthcare information has become a prime target for attackers based on the value of the information and, therefore, has the potential to increase the risk of us experiencing a cyber attack.
Our systems have experienced various immaterial breaches in the past, including ransomware, denial-of-service, malware, and phishing. Also, our business partners have experienced security breaches, which is disruptive for our customers. While these events have not had an adverse impact on our business or financial condition, security breaches such as these could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, as, (a) clients could sue us for breaches of security involving our system due to the sensitivity of the medical information we compile and transmit; (b) actual or perceived security breaches in our system could harm the market perception of our products which could cause us to lose existing and prospective clients; and (c) the effect of security breaches and related issues could disrupt our ability to perform certain key business functions and could potentially reduce demand for our products and services. Accordingly, we have expended significant resources toward establishing and enhancing the security of our related infrastructures and we have enhanced our cybersecurity risk management program and disclosure controls and procedures, as discussed under "Business - Our Products and Services." However, no assurance can be given that these efforts will be sufficient to protect against a breach or other cybersecurity incident. Also, maintaining and enhancing our infrastructure security may require us to expend significant capital in the future.
In addition, in December 2020 it was revealed that malicious actors implanted malware in the Orion network monitoring software built by SolarWinds, which software was distributed to thousands of its customers, including government agencies and companies in the private sector. The vulnerability was designed to enable hackers to install and execute additional malware that could be used to exfiltrate and facilitate remote access to data possessed by these government agencies and companies. The full scope of the security threat and extent of exploitation of the vulnerability is not yet known.
New products that we introduce or enhancements to our existing products may contain undetected errors or problems that could affect client satisfaction and cause a decrease in revenues.
Highly complex software products such as ours sometimes contain undetected errors or failures when first introduced or when updates and new versions are released. Tests of our products may not detect bugs or errors because it is difficult to simulate our clients’ wide variety of computing environments. Despite extensive testing, from time to time we have discovered defects or errors in our products. Defects or errors discovered in our products could cause delays in product introductions and shipments, result in increased costs and diversion of development resources, require design modifications, decrease market acceptance or client satisfaction with our products, cause a loss of revenue, result in legal actions by our clients and cause increased insurance costs.
We may not be successful in convincing customers to migrate to current or future releases of our products, which may lead to reduced services and maintenance revenues and less future business from existing customers.
Our customers may not be willing to incur the costs or invest the resources necessary to complete upgrades to current or future releases of our products. This may lead to our loss of services and maintenance revenues and future business from customers that continue to operate prior versions of our products or choose to no longer use our products.
Failure to maintain our margins and service rates for implementation services could have a material adverse effect on our operating performance and financial condition.
A significant portion of our revenues is derived from implementation services. If we fail to scope our implementation projects correctly, our services margins may suffer. We bill for implementation services predominately on an hourly or daily basis (time and materials) and sometimes under fixed price contracts, and we generally recognize revenue from those services as we perform the work. If we are not able to maintain the current service rates for our time and materials implementation services, without corresponding cost reductions, or if the percentage of fixed price contracts increases and we underestimate the costs of our fixed price contracts, our operating performance may suffer. The rates we charge for our implementation services depend on a number of factors, including the following:
•perceptions of our ability to add value through our implementation services;
•complexity of services performed;
•pricing policies of our competitors and of systems integrators;
•the use of globally sourced, lower-cost service delivery capabilities within our industry; and
•economic, political and market conditions.
Services revenues carry lower gross margins than license revenues and an overall increase in services revenues as a percentage of total revenues could have an adverse impact on our business.
Because our service revenues have lower gross margins than do our license revenues, an increase in the percentage of total revenues represented by service revenues could have a detrimental impact on our overall gross margins and could adversely affect operating results.
We may be subject to liability in the event we provide inaccurate claims data to payors.
We offer electronic claims submission services as part of our business management services. While we have implemented certain product features designed to maximize the accuracy and completeness of claims submissions, these features may not be sufficient to prevent inaccurate claims data from being submitted to payors. Should inaccurate claims data be submitted to payors, we may be subject to liability claims.
We may experience liability claims arising out of the licensing of our software and provision of services.
Our agreements normally contain provisions designed to limit our exposure to potential liability claims and generally exclude consequential and other forms of extraordinary damages. However, these provisions could be rendered ineffective, invalid or unenforceable by unfavorable judicial decisions or by federal, state, local or foreign laws or ordinances. For example, we may not be able to avoid or limit liability for disputes relating to product performance or the provision of services. If a claim against us were to be successful, we may be required to incur significant expense and pay substantial damages, including consequential or punitive damages, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results and financial condition. Even if we prevail in contesting such a claim, the accompanying publicity could adversely affect the demand for our products and services.
We also rely on certain technology that we license from third parties, including software that is integrated with our internally developed software. Although these third parties generally indemnify us against claims that their technology infringes on the proprietary rights of others, such indemnification is not always available for all types of intellectual property. Often such third-party indemnifiers are not well capitalized and may not be able to indemnify us in the event that their technology infringes on the proprietary rights of others. As a result, we may face substantial exposure if technology we license from a third party infringes on another party’s proprietary rights. Defending such infringement claims, regardless of their validity, could result in significant cost and diversion of resources.
We are dependent on our licenses of rights, products and services from third parties, disruptions of which may cause us to discontinue, delay or reduce product shipments.
We are increasingly dependent upon licenses for some of the technology used in our products as well as other products and services from third-party vendors, and the costs of these licenses have increased in recent years. Most of these arrangements can be continued/renewed only by mutual consent and may be terminated for any number of reasons. We may not be able to continue using the technology, products or services made available to us under these arrangements on commercially reasonable terms or at all. As a result, we may have to discontinue, delay or reduce product shipments or services provided until we can obtain equivalent technology or services. Most of our third-party licenses are non-exclusive. Our competitors may obtain the right to use any of the business elements covered by these arrangements and use these elements to compete directly with us. In addition, if our vendors choose to discontinue providing their technology, products or services in the future or are unsuccessful in their continued research and development efforts, we may not be able to modify or adapt our own products. The operation of our products would be impaired if errors occur in third party technology or content that we incorporate, and we may incur additional costs to repair or replace the defective technology or content. It may be difficult for us to correct any errors in third party products because the products are not within our control.
Because we believe that proprietary rights are material to our success, misappropriation of these rights could limit our ability to compete effectively and adversely affect our financial condition.
We are heavily dependent on the maintenance and protection of our intellectual property and we rely largely on a combination of confidentiality provisions in our client agreements, employee nondisclosure agreements, trademark and trade secret laws and other measures to protect our intellectual property. Additionally, our software is not patented or copyrighted. Although we attempt to control access to our intellectual property, unauthorized persons may attempt to copy or otherwise use our intellectual property. There can be no assurance that the legal protections and precautions we take will be adequate to prevent
misappropriation of our technology or that competitors will not independently develop technologies equivalent or superior to ours. Monitoring unauthorized use of our intellectual property is difficult, and the steps we have taken may not prevent unauthorized use. If our competitors gain access to our intellectual property, our competitive position in the industry could be damaged. An inability to compete effectively could cause us to lose existing and potential clients and experience lower revenues, revenue growth and profit margins. Third parties could obtain patents that may require us to negotiate licenses to conduct our business, and the required licenses may not be available on reasonable terms or at all. We also rely on nondisclosure agreements with certain employees, and we cannot be certain that these agreements will not be breached or that we will have adequate remedies for any breach.
If we are deemed to infringe on the intellectual property rights of third parties, we could incur unanticipated expense and be prevented from providing our products and services if we cannot obtain licenses to these rights on commercially acceptable terms.
We do not believe that our operations or products infringe on the intellectual property rights of others. However, there can be no assurance that others will not assert infringement or trade secret claims against us with respect to our current or future products. Many participants in the technology industry have an increasing number of patents and patent applications and have frequently demonstrated a readiness to take legal action based on allegations of patent and other intellectual property infringement. Further, as the number and functionality of our products increase, we believe we may become increasingly subject to the risk of infringement claims. If infringement claims are brought against us, these assertions could distract management. We may have to spend a significant amount of money and time to defend or settle those claims. In addition, claims against third parties from which we purchase software could adversely affect our ability to access third-party software for our systems.
If we were found to infringe on the intellectual property rights of others, we could be forced to pay significant license fees or damages for infringement. If we were unable to obtain licenses to these rights on commercially acceptable terms, we would be required to discontinue the sale of our products that contain the infringing technology. Our clients would also be required to discontinue the use of those products. We are unable to insure against this risk on an economically feasible basis. Even if we were to prevail in an infringement lawsuit, the accompanying publicity could adversely impact the demand for our products. Under some circumstances, we agree to indemnify our clients for some types of infringement claims that may arise from the use of our products.
Interruptions in our power supply and/or telecommunications capabilities could disrupt our operations, cause us to lose revenues and/or increase our expenses.
We currently have backup generators to be used as alternative sources of power in the event of a loss of power to our facilities. If these generators were to fail during any power outage, we would be temporarily unable to continue operations at our facilities. This would have adverse consequences for our clients who depend on us for system support, business management, and managed IT and professional services. Any such interruption in operations at our facilities could damage our reputation, harm our ability to retain existing clients and obtain new clients, and result in lost revenue and increased insurance and other operating costs.
We also have clients for whom we store and maintain computer servers containing critical patient and administrative data. Those clients access this data remotely through telecommunications lines. If our power generators fail during any power outage or if our telecommunications lines are severed or impaired for any reason, those clients would be unable to access their mission critical data causing an interruption in their operations. In such event our remote access clients and/or their patients could seek to hold us responsible for any losses. We would also potentially lose those clients, and our reputation could be harmed.
RISKS RELATED TO OUR INDEBTEDNESS
Volatility in and disruption to the global capital and credit markets and tightened lending standards may adversely affect our ability to access credit in the future, the cost of any credit obtained in the future, and the financial soundness of our clients and our business.
Domestic and international events have frequently resulted in volatility and disruption to the global capital and credit markets, often adversely affecting the availability, terms and cost of credit. Although we believe that our operating cash flow and financial assets will give us the ability to meet our financing needs for the foreseeable future, there can be no assurance that the volatility and disruption in the global capital and credit markets will not impair our liquidity or increase the costs of any future borrowing.
Our business could also be negatively impacted to the extent that our hospital clients continue to face tight capital and credit markets and other disruptions resulting from the COVID-related economic recession or cuts in Medicare and Medicaid funding. Hospitals may modify, delay or cancel plans to purchase our software systems or services. Additionally, if hospitals’ operating and financial performance deteriorates, or if they are unable to make scheduled payments or obtain credit, they may not be able to pay, or may delay payment of, accounts receivable owed to us. Any inability of clients to pay us for our products and services may adversely affect our earnings and cash flow.
Tightened lending standards and the absence of third-party credit has resulted in many of our hospital clients seeking financing arrangements from us to purchase our software systems and services. These financing arrangements impact our short-term operating cash flow and cash available. Should the requests for these financing arrangements continue or increase, our business could be negatively impacted by our inability to finance these arrangements. In addition, the absence of credit could negatively impact our existing financing receivables should our clients with financing arrangements be unable to meet their obligations.
Our substantial indebtedness may adversely affect our available cash flow and our ability to operate our business, remain in compliance with debt covenants and make payments on our indebtedness.
As of December 31, 2020, we had approximately $78.1 million of indebtedness, which includes $73.1 million under our term loan facility and $5.0 million borrowed under our revolving credit facility. We also had $105.0 million of unused commitments under our revolving credit facility as of December 31, 2020.
Our substantial indebtedness increases the possibility that we may be unable to generate cash sufficient to pay, when due, the principal of, interest on or other amounts due in respect of our indebtedness. Our substantial indebtedness, combined with our other financial obligations and contractual commitments, could have important consequences. For example, it could:
•make it more difficult for us to satisfy our obligations with respect to our indebtedness, and any failure to comply with the obligations under any of our debt instruments, including restrictive covenants, could result in an event of default under such instruments;
•make us more vulnerable to adverse changes in general economic, industry and competitive conditions and adverse changes in government regulation;
•require us to dedicate a substantial portion of our cash flow from operations to payments on our indebtedness, thereby reducing the availability of our cash flow to fund working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions and other general corporate purposes;
•limit our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business and the industry in which we operate;
•place us at a competitive disadvantage compared to our competitors that are less highly leveraged and therefore able to take advantage of opportunities that our indebtedness prevents us from exploiting; and
•limit our ability to borrow additional amounts for working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions, debt service requirements, execution of our business strategy or other purposes.
Any of the above listed factors could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, results of operations and financial condition. Furthermore, our interest expense could increase if interest rates increase because our debt bears interest at floating rates, which could adversely affect our cash flows. If we do not have sufficient earnings to service our debt, we may be required to refinance all or part of our existing debt, sell assets, borrow more money or sell securities, none of which we can guarantee we will be able to do.
In addition, the credit agreement governing our term loan facility and revolving credit facility contains restrictive covenants that limit our ability to engage in activities that may be in our long-term best interests. A breach of any of these restrictive covenants, if not cured or waived, could result in an event of default that could trigger acceleration of our indebtedness and may result in the acceleration of or default under any other debt to which a cross-acceleration or cross-default provision applies, which could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial condition. The credit agreement requires compliance with a consolidated net leverage ratio test. In addition, the credit agreement requires prepayment of the outstanding indebtedness thereunder if we have certain excess cash flow, as described therein. The credit agreement requires us to mandatorily prepay the term loan facility and amounts borrowed under the revolving credit facility with net cash proceeds from certain financing and other transactions. Additionally, the credit agreement requires repayment of the facilities with 50% of excess cash flow (minus certain specified other payments), subject to elimination if our consolidated net leverage ratio is less than or equal to 2.50 to 1.00.
Despite our current indebtedness levels, we and our subsidiaries may still be able to incur substantially more debt, which could exacerbate the risks associated with our substantial leverage.
We and our subsidiaries may be able to incur substantial additional indebtedness in the future, including secured indebtedness. Although the credit agreement governing our term loan facility and revolving credit facility contains restrictions on the incurrence of additional indebtedness, these restrictions are subject to a number of significant qualifications and exceptions, and the indebtedness incurred in compliance with these restrictions could be substantial. If new debt is added to our or our subsidiaries’ current debt levels, the related risks that we face would be increased.
To service our indebtedness, we will require a significant amount of cash. Our ability to generate cash depends on many factors beyond our control, and any failure to meet our debt service obligations could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, results of operations and financial condition.
Our ability to pay interest on and principal of our debt obligations principally depends upon our operating performance. As a result, prevailing economic conditions and financial, business and other factors, many of which are beyond our control, will affect our ability to make these payments.
If we do not generate sufficient cash flow from operations to satisfy our debt service obligations, we may have to undertake alternative financing plans, such as refinancing or restructuring our indebtedness, selling assets, reducing or delaying capital investments or capital expenditures or seeking to raise additional capital. Our ability to restructure or refinance our debt, if at all, will depend on the condition of the capital markets and our financial condition at such time. Any refinancing of our debt could be at higher interest rates and may require us to comply with more onerous covenants, which could further restrict our business operations. In addition, the terms of existing or future debt instruments may restrict us from adopting some of these alternatives. Our inability to generate sufficient cash flow to satisfy our debt service obligations, or to refinance our obligations at all or on commercially reasonable terms, could affect our ability to satisfy our debt obligations and have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, results of operations and financial condition.
The terms of the credit agreement governing our term loan facility and revolving credit facility may restrict our current and future operations, particularly our ability to respond to changes in our business or to take certain actions.
Our term loan facility and revolving credit facility contain, and any future indebtedness of ours would likely contain, a number of restrictive covenants that impose significant operating restrictions, including restrictions on our ability to engage in acts that may be in our best long-term interests.
The credit agreement governing our term loan facility and revolving credit facility includes covenants restricting, among other things, our ability to:
•incur additional debt;
•incur liens and encumbrances;
•pay dividends on our equity securities or payments to redeem, repurchase or retire our equity securities;
•enter into restrictive agreements;
•make investments, loans and acquisitions;
•merge or consolidate with any other person;
•dispose of assets;
•enter into sale and leaseback transactions;
•engage in transactions with our affiliates; and
•materially alter the business we conduct.
The operating restrictions and covenants in these debt agreements and any future financing agreements may adversely affect our ability to finance future operations or capital needs or to engage in other business activities. Our ability to comply with these covenants may be affected by events beyond our control, and any material deviations from our forecasts could require us to seek waivers or amendments of covenants, alternative sources of financing or reductions in expenditures. In addition, the outstanding indebtedness under our term loan facility and revolving credit facility is, subject to certain exceptions, secured by
security interests in substantially all of our and the subsidiary guarantors’ tangible and intangible assets (subject to certain exceptions). A breach of any of the restrictive covenants in the credit agreement governing our term loan facility and revolving credit facility would result in a default, and our lenders may elect to declare all outstanding borrowings, together with accrued interest and other fees, to be immediately due and payable, or enforce and foreclose on their security interest and liquidate some or all of such pledged assets. The lenders under our term loan facility and revolving credit facility also have the right in these circumstances to terminate any commitments they have to provide further borrowings.
RISKS RELATED TO OUR COMMON STOCK AND OTHER GENERAL RISKS
We are subject to changes in and interpretations of financial accounting matters that govern the measurement of our performance, one or more of which could adversely affect our business, financial condition, cash flows, revenue and results of operations.
Based on our reading and interpretations of relevant guidance, principles or concepts issued by, among other authorities, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Financial Accounting Standards Board and the Securities and Exchange Commission, we believe revenue received pursuant to our current sales and licensing contract terms and business arrangements have been properly recognized. However, there continue to be issued interpretations and guidance for applying the relevant standards to a wide range of sales and licensing contract terms and business arrangements that are prevalent in the software industry. Future interpretations or changes by the regulators of existing accounting standards, including Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB") Accounting Standards Codification ("ASC") Topic 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers, or changes in our business practices could result in changes in our revenue recognition and/or other accounting policies and practices that could adversely affect our business, financial condition, cash flows, revenue and results of operations.
We may be required to record a significant charge to earnings if our goodwill or intangible assets become impaired.
We are required under U.S. generally accepted accounting principles ("U.S. GAAP") to test our goodwill for impairment annually or more frequently if indicators for potential impairment exist. Indicators that are considered include significant changes in performance relative to expected operating results, significant changes in the use of the assets, significant negative industry, or economic trends, or a significant decline in the Company's stock price and/or market capitalization for a sustained period of time. In addition, we periodically review our intangible assets for impairment when events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value may not be recoverable. Factors that may be considered a change in circumstances indicating that the carrying value of our intangible assets may not be recoverable include slower growth rates, the loss of significant clients, or divestiture of a business or asset for less than its carrying value. We may be required to record a significant charge to earnings in our consolidated financial statements during the period in which any impairment of our goodwill or intangible assets is determined. For example, we recorded a goodwill impairment charge of $28.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2017 relating to our Post-acute Care EHR reporting unit, which consists soley of American HealthTech, which we acquired in January 2016 as part of our acquisition of HHI. This impairment charge had a significant negative effect on our consolidated net income for the year ended December 31, 2017.
Any future impairment charges could have a material adverse impact on our results of operations. There are inherent uncertainties in management's estimates, judgments and assumptions used in assessing recoverability of goodwill and intangible assets. Any changes in key assumptions, including failure to meet business plans, a deterioration in the market, or other unanticipated events and circumstances, may affect the accuracy or validity of such estimates and could potentially result in an impairment charge.
The unpredictability of our quarterly operating results may cause us to fail to meet revenues or earnings expectations which could cause the price of our common stock to fluctuate or decline.
There is no assurance that consistent quarterly growth in our business will occur. Our quarterly revenues may fluctuate and may be difficult to forecast for a variety of reasons. For example, prospective clients often take significant time evaluating our system and related services before making a purchase decision. Moreover, a prospective client who has placed an order for our system could decide to cancel that order or postpone installation of the ordered system. If a prospective client delays or cancels a scheduled system installation during any quarter, we may not be able to schedule a substitute system installation during that quarter. The amount of revenues that would have been generated from that installation will be postponed or lost. The possibility of delays or cancellations of scheduled system installations could cause our quarterly revenues to fluctuate.
The following factors may also affect demand for our products and services and cause our quarterly revenues to fluctuate:
•changes in client budgets and purchasing priorities;
•the ability of our clients to obtain financing for the purchase of our products;
•the financial stability of our clients;
•the specific mix of software, hardware and services in orders from clients;
•the timing of new product announcements and product introductions by us and our competitors;
•market acceptance of new products, product enhancements and services from us and our competitors;
•product and price competition;
•our success in expanding our sales and marketing programs;
•the availability and cost of system components;
•delay of revenue recognition to future quarters due to an increase in the sales of our remote access SaaS services;
•the length of sales cycles and installation processes;
•changes in revenue recognition or other accounting guidelines employed by us and/or established by the Financial Accounting Standards Board or other rulemaking bodies;
•accounting policies concerning the timing of recognition of revenue;
•personnel changes; and
•general market and economic factors.
Variations in our quarterly revenues may adversely affect our operating results. In each fiscal quarter, our expense levels, operating costs and hiring plans are based on projections of future revenues and are relatively fixed. Because a significant percentage of our expenses are relatively fixed, a variation in the timing of systems sales, implementations and installations can cause significant variations in operating results from quarter to quarter. As a result, we believe that interim period-to-period comparisons of our results of operations are not necessarily meaningful and should not be relied upon as indications of future performance. Further, our historical operating results are not necessarily indicative of future performance for any particular period.
Due to all of the foregoing factors, it is possible that our operating results may be below the expectations of securities analysts and investors. In such event, the price of our common stock would likely be adversely affected.
Our common stock price has periodically experienced significant volatility, which could result in substantial losses for investors purchasing shares of our common stock and in litigation against us.
Volatility may be caused by a number of factors including but not limited to:
•actual or anticipated quarterly variations in operating results;
•rumors about our performance, software solutions, or merger and acquisition activity;
•changes in expectations of future financial performance or changes in estimates of securities analysts;
•governmental regulatory action;
•healthcare reform measures;
•client relationship developments;
•purchases or sales of Company stock;
•changes occurring in the markets in general;
•macroeconomic conditions, both nationally and internationally; and
•other factors, many of which are beyond our control.
Furthermore, the stock market in general, and the market for software, healthcare and high technology companies in particular, has experienced significant volatility in recent years that often has been unrelated to the operating performance of particular companies. These broad market and industry fluctuations may adversely affect the trading price of our common stock, regardless of actual operating performance.
Moreover, in the past, securities class action litigation has often been brought against a company following periods of volatility in the market price of its securities. We may in the future be the target of similar litigation. Securities litigation could result in substantial costs and divert management’s attention and resources.
If we fail to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting, this may adversely affect investor confidence in our company and, as a result, the value of our common stock.
We are required under Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act to furnish a report by management on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting and to include a report by our independent auditors attesting to such effectiveness. Any failure by us to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting could adversely affect our ability to report accurately our financial condition or results of operations.
If we are unable to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting, or if our independent auditors determine that we have a material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting, we could lose investor confidence in the accuracy and completeness of our financial reports, the market price of our common stock could decline, and we could be subject to sanctions or investigations by the SEC or other regulatory authorities. Failure to remedy any material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting, or to implement or maintain other effective control systems required of public companies, also could restrict our future access to the capital markets.
We do not have employment or non-competition agreements with most of our key personnel, and their departure could harm our future success.
Our future success depends to a significant extent on the leadership and performance of our chief executive officer and other executive officers. We do not have employment or non-competition agreements with any of our executive officers. Therefore, they may terminate their employment with us at any time and may compete against us. The loss of the services of any of our executive officers could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
As a result of the inherent limitations in our internal control over financial reporting, misstatements due to error or fraud may occur and not be detected.
Our disclosure controls and procedures are designed to provide reasonable assurance that information required to be disclosed by us in reports we file with or submit to the SEC under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) is accumulated and communicated to management and recorded, processed, summarized, and reported within the time periods specified in SEC rules and forms. We believe that any disclosure controls and procedures or internal controls and procedures, no matter how well conceived and operated, can provide only reasonable, not absolute, assurance that the objectives of the control system are met. These inherent limitations include the realities that judgments in decision-making can be faulty and that breakdowns can occur because of simple error or mistake. In addition, controls can be circumvented by the individual acts of some persons, by collusion of two or more people, or by an unauthorized override of the controls.
Most of our facilities are located in an area vulnerable to hurricanes and tropical storms, and the occurrence of a severe hurricane, similar storm or other natural disaster could cause damage to our facilities and equipment, which could require us to cease or limit our operations.
A significant portion of our facilities and employees are located within 30 miles of the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Our facilities are vulnerable to significant damage or destruction from hurricanes and tropical storms. We are also vulnerable to damage from other types of disasters, including tornadoes, fires, floods and similar events. If any disaster were to occur, our ability to conduct business at our facilities could be seriously impaired or completely destroyed. This would have adverse consequences for our clients who depend on us for system support or business management, consulting and managed IT services. Also, the servers of clients who use our remote access services could be damaged or destroyed in any such disaster. This would have potentially devastating consequences to those clients. Although we have an emergency recovery plan, including back-up systems in remote locations, there can be no assurance that this plan will effectively prevent the interruption of our business due to a natural disaster. Furthermore, the insurance we maintain may not be adequate to cover our losses resulting from any natural disaster or other business interruption.
We are exposed to market risk related to interest rate changes.
We are exposed to market risk related to changes in interest rates as a result of the floating interest rates applicable to the outstanding debt under our term loan facility and revolving credit facility. The interest rate for the outstanding debt under our term loan facility and revolving credit facility as of December 31, 2020 was 2.5%. Borrowings under our term loan facility and revolving credit facility bear interest at a base rate, a LIBOR rate, or a combination of the two, as elected by us, plus an applicable margin. The base rate is determined by reference to the greatest of (a) the prime lending rate of Regions Bank, (b) the federal funds rate for the relevant interest period plus one half of one percent per annum and (c) the one month LIBOR rate plus one percent per annum. The LIBOR rate is determined by reference to the interest rate for dollar deposits in the London interbank market for the interest period relevant to such borrowings, adjusted as set forth in the credit agreement. There is no cap on the maximum interest rate for borrowings under our term loan facility and revolving credit facility.
LIBOR is scheduled to be phased out by the end of 2021. When LIBOR ceases to exist, we will need to agree upon a replacement index with our lenders under our outstanding indebtedness at the time, and such new rates may not be as favorable to us as those in effect prior to any LIBOR phase-out.