CardioNet wants to be as close as your next heartbeat. The company provides real-time outpatient cardiac monitoring and telemetry services for ambulatory (mobile) patients throughout the US. By providing continuous heartbeat monitoring with nearly three weeks of data, the CardioNet System provides doctors with a complete picture of heart functions to help diagnose and monitor arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms). The system relies on two-way wireless communication -- providing mobility for the patient and remote adjustment for physicians. CardioNet also manufactures and sells traditional cardiac event and Holter monitors, which record patient heart rhythm data, but cannot transmit the data in real time.
CardioNet's Mobile Cardiac Outpatient Telemetry (MCOT) services rely on the system's FDA-approved monitoring equipment, wireless transmission network, proprietary software, and a 24-hour monitoring center. The MCOT system automatically detects rhythm irregularities and transmits the corresponding ECG (electrocardiogram) data to the monitoring center.
The CardioNet System is marketed directly to doctors and patients throughout the US and has been used with more than 500,000 patients. While Medicare reimbursements account for a third of the company's revenues, it also has contracts with more than 350 commercial payers. Part of CardioNet's strategy is to increase the number of (more lucrative) commercial payer contracts it has as compared to its government contracts.
CardioNet's revenues climbed up to $140.6 million in 2009, but that year Medicare sharply reduced the rate it reimburses for for MCOT services and the commercial insurance carries followed suit. Additionally, some large commercial health plans have deemed the services to be experimental and do not reimburse for them at all. These factors have bit hard: in 2010 patient service revenues dropped 15% to $119.9 million, and then dropped an additional 11% in 2011 down to 106.8 million. However, as a result of its 2010 acquisition of Biotel, the company added product manufacturing which has offset losses in patient services. Product manufacturing, repair, and sales added revenue of some $12.2 million in 2011. CardioNet's revenues are likely to wobble for a while. Shifting to event and Holter monitoring may boost its patient volume, but such monitoring is reimbursed at a lower rate.
Acquisitions have helped CardioNet with its expansion of products, services, and geographic range. The company intends to move beyond arrhythmia monitoring into new market areas such as cardiac monitoring for clinical trials and disease management for congestive heart failure, diabetes, and other diseases that require outpatient or ambulatory monitoring and management. To that end, in 2012 it paid some $23.5 million to acquire CardioCORE Lab. That business gives CardioNet centralized cardiac testing labs in the US and UK.
CardioNet has plans to use its technology to create instant telemetry beds (which allow patients to be continually monitored by technology) in rural hospitals, step-down units, or skilled nursing facilities to help cope with acute nursing shortages by reducing the number of nurses needed to oversee ECG monitoring and reduce capital equipment costs.
Proceeds from CardioNet's 2007 IPO were used to pay off debt, bankroll acquisitions, build up inventory of CardioNet systems, and develop improved versions of the product. – less