Medical Mutual-Bravo relationship deepens

Medical Mutual’s acquisition of Bravo, a Cleveland-based employee wellness program provider, began as a discussion for the wellness company to become a provider for the health insurer.

But the conversations quickly turned into an opportunity for a much deeper relationship. An acquisition is part of Medical Mutual’s strategies for population growth and health and has provided Bravo with the expertise and financial support to help accelerate its growth. Since January 1, Bravo has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Medical Mutual. Terms of the contract are not disclosed.

A few years ago, the leadership of Medical Mutual saw the healthcare landscape shift towards population health, partnering with providers and truly moving away from episodic care to expand a continuum of care for entire populations. said Dr Tere Koenig, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Mutuelle Médicale.

“I think providers and payers come together and realize that this has to be about the care of the population and really the care of the individual and how can we best work together to achieve these results, better communicating aligned goals to the patient, “she said.” We saw the market move in that direction with our partners and we wanted to lead the way. “

The acquisition of Bravo is a natural extension of this. Bravo is part of Medical Mutual’s goal of not only treating sick patients, but also keeping people healthy and healthier by engaging all members and getting them to do what they want. it takes for their well-being – a job that is becoming essential for companies wishing to remain relevant and sustainable.

“We have this great company, Bravo, just down the street, and they bring expertise on how to involve individuals in the treatment and improvement of the really common risk factors that we all face in life. , and behaviors, ”Koenig said. “And when you look at it from a holistic perspective, a lot of those things that we all deal with are the root causes of many chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and strokes.”

For Jim Pshock, Founder and CEO of Bravo, Medical Mutual ticked all the boxes: taking care of its team members, caring about its customers, a fair deal and someone who is committed for the long term rather than wanting to overthrow the business and make a quick buck.

“With Medical Mutual, I saw a well-respected, well-established, well-funded company that wanted to keep Bravo as an independent, wholly-owned subsidiary, but provide the expertise and financial support to help us accelerate our growth instead. to provide a way for investors to make money while reducing costs, ”said Pshock, who will continue to lead Bravo and its 170 employees.

Medical Mutual has over 1.6 million members, making it one of the state’s largest health insurers. Growth through acquisition is a key part of Medical Mutual’s strategy, said Tom Dewey, executive vice president of human resources and strategy for the insurer. In 2018, Medical Mutual acquired Superior Dental Care, a dental insurance company based in the Dayton area.

“We will continue to view suppliers as potential acquisition opportunities in the future,” said Dewey. “We will be strategic and opportunistic there when the opportunities arise.”

Bravo has been “lean” and “conservative” in its growth in recent years. In 2018, Bravo’s revenue was around $ 31 million, up 15% from the previous year. Pshock said this remained stable in 2019. A saturated market of wellness solution providers has made it difficult to secure sufficient capital to focus on technology improvements, marketing and advertising, he said. added.

“Support from Medical Mutual, frankly, allows us to take calculated risks without worrying about it complicating payroll if any of these things don’t pay off,” Pshock said. “We are immediately accelerating our technology roadmap. And we are able to invest more in sales and marketing efforts because of the stability they bring us. “

Today, Bravo has approximately 170 clients, each of which may have thousands of employers. In total, it serves around 1.3 million eligible participants, which Pshock said it expects to more than double to 3 million this year – a growth which is accelerated by the fact that Medical Mutual becomes a client and provides the financial support necessary to evolve.

“We are more secure, we are more stable, we are better financed, we are more scalable and Medical Mutual as a flagship product is not only an owner, it is a flagship customer who will serve as a reference for us”, Pshock said.