Just over three months ago, along with our terrific partners at the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), we announced the formation of a new company called RightMove Health, which has as its goal to make high quality, patient-focused virtual musculoskeletal (MSK) physical therapy (PT) available to all Americans. HSS is hands down the preeminent leading academic medical center specializing in MSK health.
And like at the Academy Awards there simply are too many people at HSS to acknowledge but clearly a few need to be recognized for having built an extraordinary collection of physical therapy assets and for visionary thinking to partner to build a leading independent company serving the nearly 12 million people who annually utilize physical therapists: Lou Shapiro (CEO @ HSS), Bryan Kelly (incoming CEO @ HSS), Amy Fahrenkopf (President, HSS Health and SVP @ HSS), and David King (Interim Executive and Founding Team member @ RightMove).
Perhaps even more exciting, last week we announced the addition of a rock star CEO, my good friend Marcus Osborne, who is known to many from his extraordinary work for over 14 years at Walmart, most recently serving as SVP Walmart Health. There is not a corner of healthcare or an innovative solution that Marcus has not considered or purchased. And a tip of the hat to the team at Oxeon, led by Patrick Sullivan, who ran an exceptional recruiting process. Importantly, Marcus joins Employee #1, David Lim, who is an exceptional founding Chief Clinical and Medical Operations Officer, having among many accomplishments been on the founding team at Quartet Health. This is a band of rock stars…
There are a few powerful industry trends facing the over 590k professionals in the PT field in the United States (Bureau of Labor Statistics counts ~225k actual physical therapists), and like many other recent developments in healthcare, these trends are framed by the pandemic. Obviously, the explosion in telehealth services has been transformative in the PT industry and is a significant tailwind for RightMove. It is estimated that telehealth visits increased 38x in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic. According to a recent McKinsey study, 55% of patients expressed greater satisfaction with virtual versus in-person visits.
Second, advances in healthcare technology have improved patient engagement and facilitated more personalized care plans. This development has directly informed the third significant trend in PT, which is the drive to provide more in-home services, in part due to the rapidly aging population.
Staff burn-out and pressures to provide more flexible, accommodative work environments for providers coupled with profound improvements in virtual reality and AI have recast the patient-provider experience and account for the other two industry trends. Against this backdrop, the market forces seem to have converged to marry the field’s highest regarded, most effective, and clinically validate PT protocols developed at HSS with outstanding entrepreneurial talent to scale a disruptive approach to address what has been an often poorly managed care pathway, rife with underwhelming outcomes and significant waste.
It is thought that Hippocrates may have been one of the first practitioners of PT as far back as 460 BC. Much has changed since then. IBIS World estimates the PT market to be nearly $47 billion in size, serviced by nearly 38k clinics. Across all professionals in the PT field, average earnings total $75k annually, although sadly, there is quite a wide disparity by gender and geography. Bureau of Labor Statistics data show the mean salary specifically for physical therapists is ~$93k.
Notwithstanding those issues, the PT field has developed a deeply committed and talented labor force, which is fortunate given MSK issues are estimated to account for one-sixth of all healthcare spend annually, costing approximately $600 billion per year. Physical therapists are the first line of care for MSK issues, and when handled properly, PT can reduce the incidence of certain unnecessary and frightfully expensive MSK surgical procedures. This is exacerbated in a fee-for-service framework, so more effective PT triage solutions facilitate the move to value-based care MSK clinical models.
The RightMove offering is centered around “expert physical therapists” who will provide live triage and virtual PT covering 90+ MSK conditions. The company will build upon HSS’s vast PT experience and data collected over decades; annually HSS conducts ~330k in-person and ~100k virtual PT visits. The product offering is anchored in three modules: virtual triage (45-minute live comprehensive exam); virtual PT sessions; and “digital engagement” with curated expert content, personalized dashboard, and asynchronous chat capabilities.
Over time, it is expected, like many virtual care providers, that RightMove will develop into a “hybrid” model that likely will include an expert network of in-person physical therapists (“powered by HSS”), which will be particularly impactful for larger risk-bearing provider and employer clients. All of these capabilities have RightMove on the path to becoming a value-based PT platform to take on risk in pay-for-performance, pay-for-quality arrangements.
The power of the co-creation model that our firm, Flare Capital Partners, has utilized successfully is to co-invest with a leading strategic partner at the outset, often times one of our investors, to stand up a novel offering that while solving an immediate need of our strategic partner, can develop into a wider industry utility. This model requires that the new company be able to quickly recruit world class executive talent – RightMove just checked that box – and importantly, that other great co-investors join the ride once the company has launched. RightMove recently received additional capital from two outstanding firms: Frist Cressy Ventures and Greycroft. Another box checked.
It is not a “stretch” to say that Marcus and David made the right moves to join. I am only hoping that they create an offering that makes it easier for me to touch my toes. Oh, and I still want to finish a marathon in under four hours – is there anything for that?