As our health industry continues to go from turbulent times, there’s one start-up that is continuing on its path to disrupt the primary health care industry with a new model set for huge success! I sat down with Umbrella Health’s CEO & Founder Michael Cochrane over a coffee, and this is the first part of our conversation. Part 2 will be in our March 2020 ‘Shhh… Private News’
Q. Michael when we spoke last year you had just opened your first clinic, how’s it all going?
A. Our East Bentleigh Clinic has been open for four months and local patients are loving our model of patient focused health. As people who have followed our story will know the initial decision to build and open medical centres was driven by our desire to get an in-depth understanding of the specific problems faced in our healthcare industry in order to build better tech solutions to improve lives. That decision is already paying dividends, our tech team is learning a lot from working for a company that chose to experience the problems that they build solutions for.
Q. When do you believe East Bentleigh will be breaking even?
A. Our forecasts prior to opening the clinic expected this to occur in mid-May and we are trending to meet that assumption. Our revenue started lower than we assumed, however trading upwards rapidly. Average patient revenues are exceeding expectation driving overall performance in line with plan. That said, the key metric I focus on is patient satisfaction and this has even exceeded our high expectations. A 97% satisfaction rating on healthengine.com.au is the proof consumers are more than ready for our brand of service driven healthcare.
Q. Do you still believe the current model is broken, and Umbrella Health is a part of the solution?
A. It’s no secret the healthcare industry needs to do better by its patients, that belief has if anything been strengthened and validated by our patient feedback in our first months of operation. What I didn’t expect was how much strain the current model puts on our GP’s from a mental and physical health perspective. Long shifts, high revenue expectations and complicated billing procedures are clearly taking their toll. The industry clearly needs to do better by its doctors too. Our ‘slow medicine’ model of patient focused care is the perfect antidote. Our new branding message “Built by patients for patients…to let doctors be doctors” sums this up. Look out for this message across digital and mainstream media in 2020.
Q. How far away is the second clinic, and are you on track with your 2020 plans?
A. Our Camberwell clinic is currently being fitted out and we expect to welcome patients on 30 March. This is later than our original roll out schedule, however was a conscious decision to coincide with the opening of flu vaccination season and open the clinic in a period of peak patient demand. Our Albury and Edgewater clinic plans are approved by council, partners are being signed up, as we chat to complete our first one-stop shop primary care precincts. We also have two BIG exciting opportunities in both technology and clinic acquisition that are currently subject to confidentiality. These announcements will exceed our milestones for 2021 let alone 2020.
Q. What’s the path to success to date?
A. 2019 was a huge year for Umbrella Health. We started the year called Vita. We had a belief that the health industry needed change but only had three employees, no investors, no tech and no clinics. Industry insiders said we would not be able to recruit doctors. As we stand today, we still have the belief the industry needs change – that hope is now underpinned by a strategic framework and an operational plan to achieve it. We have a team of fifteen, have opened our first clinic – with three confirmed sites to follow (and an acquisition program set to deliver another 8 clinics), and we have a full roster of doctors for our upcoming sites. Our technology team are already delivering solutions to our clinical teams that improve communication and patient experience with a patient app to come in 2020.
Q. What’s on offer for investors?
A. Investors have some remaining opportunities to invest in Umbrella through our convertible loan note. This is essential a loan paying an 8% return that the investor has the option of converting to equity at maturity in December 2021.
We have been privileged to have the support of several committed investors to help us build our 2020 roadmap however a limited opportunity to invest is still available before we close our capital raising round.
Missed the previous interview about Umbrella Health? Click to read: Startup Umbrella Health launches their first clinic!