OpEx Awards 22: Americas Small-cap winner – Francisco Partners

Francisco Partners built up Trellis Rx to provide patients with speciality pharmacy services and a chronic disease management platform.

In 2016, Francisco Partners identified an opportunity in the healthcare market to provide speciality pharmacy services to patients across the US through integrated, in-house systems.

Through a ground-up investment, the third ever for the firm, Francisco Partners launched Trellis Rx with the belief that “enabling health systems to effectively bring these capabilities in house could both generate strong financial ROI for them and improve clinical outcomes for patients”.

“A ground-up build with tremendous success”

The firm began building a management team and set up a board of directors in 2016, before signing its first customer in 2017. That year, the company’s chief growth officer, Andy Maurer, took on the mantle of CEO, and Francisco Partners worked closely with Maurer to recruit senior leadership talent. This included a chief financial officer, general counsel, a chief technology officer and a senior vice-president of strategy.

Key value-creation strategies behind the firm’s venture included its investments in the development and improvement of its proprietary Arbor software platform, which streamlined workflow and generated analytics for on-the-ground management of Trellis Rx’s speciality pharmacies. It also committed to shortening the time businesses took to get pharmacy accreditation with Trellis Rx to enable sites to get up and running quickly.

Furthermore, Trellis Rx launched a chronic disease management programme to complement its core speciality pharmacy business. This programme, which was offered at six customer sites at the time of exit, provides services such as patient risk stratification, engagement and tracking, helping to improve patient outcomes.

With Francisco Partners’ backing, the business grew from serving a single anchor customer to operating in health systems in nine states. During the firm’s ownership period, it partnered with 17 clients, supporting more than 60 hospitals and 200 clinics.

Francisco Partners sold Trellis Rx to CPS, a strategic in the space, earlier this year.

Trellis Rx stood out to the judging panel as “a ground-up build with tremendous success” that “provides better application of medicine to patients that have specialised needs”.

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