Cano Health takes the reverse stock split option to stay solvent. In Cano’s latest telenovela episode, a familiar stratagem for companies to drive up a dangerously low share price is to reverse stock split, usually in a large ratio. Cano is facing delisting on the NYSE as its shares traded, as of 11 September, below the $1 minimum for 30 days. [TTA 29 Sept] Shareholders are being asked to approve a 1 for 60 ratio with the board having the right to adjust it down to 1-for-5 and up to 1-for-100, for both Class A and B common stock. At the current share price of $0.21, a new share’s value would be $12.60. No meeting date has been set, though the press release bluntly states that 30% shareholder ITC Rumba, LLC and the 20% held by current and former members of management and the board intend to vote in favor of it, achieving the necessary simple majority. 1:60 does sound last-ditch, reminiscent of Babylon Health’s late 2022 moves in a 1 for 25 exchange, before attempting to go private–and we know how that turned out. Release
eMed transitioning Babylon Health services in the UK. A check on Babylon Health’s UK website provides FAQs for current users. It leads with promises to expand digital-first primary care services on this registration page for visits, and to develop a chronic care management service starting with medical weight management using Wegovy. The FAQs also state there will be no disruptions to GP at Hand. There is a rebranding (left/above) that sunsets the Babylon name but retains the stylized heart.
Babyl Rwanda‘s separate website and the eMed pages for Babyl Rwanda are still up, but a local report from 24 September states that the company has ceased operations in Rwanda. As of August, the government was scrambling to find buyers and to maintain operations to 2.4 million Rwandans. “According to Julien Mahoro Niyingabira, the Rwanda Health Communication Centre (RHCC) Division Manager, the Ministry of Health is in discussions with Babyl Rwanda to ensure continuity of services despite the closure of Babylon Health.” How that will be possible without a buyer to pay employees and maintain the operation is debatable. The New Times (Rwanda)
As for the US, the Babylon Health US site also remains up and intact with a small disclaimer at the top that US services are no longer available and to contact your health plan. It is the same as on our last visit on 14 September. It is odd to see, after another month, that no one has disabled the US services or corporate pages such as Investors. This is possibly because the architecture for the US pages are off the UK site (the tab at top has the eMed logo) and nobody is in the US operation to take down the pages. The US operation, in Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation, is now in the tender hands of the US bankruptcy courts, where filings, documentation, and processes move slowly indeed with no further public news.
And when you can’t decide, extend. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) once again are extending Covid-time flexibilities for prescribing controlled substances through 2024. After 38,000 comments on the proposed changes to rules after the last extension in May, DEA and HHS punted again on reimposing Ryan-Haight Act restrictions that would require in-person evaluations/visits prior to prescribing. This allows clinicians to prescribe Schedule II–V controlled medications via audio-video telemedicine encounters, including Schedule III–V narcotic controlled medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for maintenance and withdrawal management treatment of opioid use disorder. Final rules will be timed for Fall 2024. Another year’s breathing room for 6 Oct DEA announcement, Federal Register 10 October “Second Temporary Extension of COVID-19 Telemedicine Flexibilities for Prescription of Controlled Medications”, Healthcare Dive