Autism Investor Summit

Upcoming Conference Coming Soon

2020 Conference Information
This event is co-chaired by Sara Gershfeld Litvak, MA, BCBA and Ronit Molko, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Sara Gershfeld Litvak, MA, BCBA
Ronit Molko, Ph.D., BCBA-D


We look forward to seeing you in February 2021.
WHY NOW

Autism affects about 1 in 59 children, an increase from 1 in 68 two years ago, according to the latest data recently released by the Centers for Disease Control, meaning that 2.5% of the U.S. population has autism. These numbers will likely increase as individuals in underserved markets are better identified and receive an accurate diagnosis.

Because of these growth rates, access to funding and demand for services is increasing exponentially resulting in intense investor interest in this sector. Autism services cost U.S. citizens approximately $250 billion annually, with the individual lifetime cost per person ranging from $1.4 million to $3.2 million depending on the intellectual capacity of each individual.

Currently, the autism services and therapeutic market in the U.S. is conservatively estimated to be valued at $5-7 billion dollars and growing. This includes programs that serve individuals with autism as well as drugs targeting behavioral issues in autism. The supply constraint and the growing demand for services has created a very attractive market that is growing rapidly. Revenues of ABA programs are estimated to generate $2B- 7B annually. These estimates are considered conservative and we believe the market is substantially larger, with a TAM (total addressable market) of up to $70 billion. 

COVID has created an even greater as families struggle to place their children in schools and receive the support they need at home. In addition, telehealth coverage has created greater access to services and efficiency around service delivery and supervision.

The market continues to be highly fragmented with fewer than 20% of the industry owned by consolidators. Demand continues to outweigh supply.  

Every year, the Autism Investor Summit provides a unique opportunity for autism service providers and investors to meet in a private setting to discuss the autism services landscape, opportunities for investment and to attain valuable insights on the outlook for financial investment in autism healthcare services.

The mission of this conference is to advance autism services and the outcomes for consumers by bringing together stakeholders from all aspects of the industry- service providers, advocates, legislators, payers, consumers, investors and researchers- to meet, network, share information and understand what the future holds for the autism industry.

This is a curated event and all attendees are approved by the conference committee. 

Opportunity

Investors are in a strong position to consolidate, expand, and create the kinds of economies of scale that are common in other sectors of healthcare, and in other industries.​ The autism service market is a highly fragmented marketplace with many opportunities for consolidation, favorable returns on investment and the elevation of regulation and oversight of care. Because autism treatment is a fairly new field, the industry lacks regulation and oversight. While this is a challenge when evaluating the quality of treatment centers, it’s also an opportunity to implement cutting-edge treatments and technologies. It is vital that investors understand the nuances of autism services and the issues service providers face when scaling their businesses. 

Important factors in the current autism provider landscape:
Intervention
Intervention

The predominant treatment for autism is based on the science and methodology of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). ABA is one of the few areas that attracts bipartisan political support and as of May 2019, 49 states in the U.S. mandate insurance coverage of autism services. Services are provided in the home, at center-based programs, at school, or in hybrid models that serve multiple locations. ABA is considered the gold standard of treatment for autism. The National Research council recommends a minimum of 25 hours per week of student engagement. While many service providers offer ABA-based programs, not all ABA is the same. It is critical to assess the quality of programming and service delivery when considering an investment in an autism company.

DEMAND
DEMAND

The ABA market is growing at twice the rate of other multi-site healthcare businesses. With greater awareness, we are seeing the beginnings of a reduction in the social stigma of autism and a formal diagnosis of autism leading more families to seek intervention and support. As funding for autism services and awareness of autism is expanding, more and more families are seeking services nationwide. Most providers report waiting lists for assessment and diagnosis, as well as intervention, leading to rapid growth in this industry. In addition, there are many communities where services are lacking bringing multiple organic growth opportunities to existing providers.

PROVIDERS
PROVIDERS

In recent years, significant investments in autism service providers have occurred resulting in the beginning of consolidation of this market. This interest and investment trend is driving a new level of competition and increasing the standards against which providers need to comply and perform. Despite this growth, however; less than 10% of the autism industry is owned by consolidators providing much opportunity for continued investment in this market. As consolidators continue to buy up the market, issues such as the integration of clinical methodologies, operational processes and administrative functions bring new challenges, especially because the industry is relatively young and unsophisticated from a business operational standpoint.

Market
Market

The total annual costs for children with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) in the United States are estimated to be between $11.5 billion and $60.9 billion — a significant economic burden. It is estimated that the current ABA service provider market is about $7bn with a TAM (total addressable market) of between $50-70bn. The ABA therapy market is expected to grow at a 25% CAGR over the next 3-5 years. The needs of the aging autism population are grossly under serviced providing additional opportunities for investors and providers. Many autism treatment organizations, and some of the largest competitors are located in California. This is due to the fact that funding for treatment programs has been in place there for over 5 decades, prior to the insurance mandates that were later put into place.

Unique Opportunities
For Potential Investors
  • What are the top issues that challenge scaling an autism service business?
  • How are changing regulations and reimbursement policies impacting investment?
  • There’s no single gold standard of care in ABA services - what are some new and evolving clinical standards that investors should know about?
  • How is due diligence different from other sectors, and what do investors need to look for?
  • What are some of the challenges investors face in building or expanding autism treatment centers?
  • What are the most compelling consolidation opportunities?
FOR AUTISM SERVICE PROVIDERS
  • Why should business owners “take the call” with investors and how can your business benefit from taking on investment?
  • What does the process entail when bringing on an investor?
  • What methodologies do investors use when evaluating opportunities? How are businesses valued?
  • What are the most compelling reasons to sell, and not to sell?
  • How do you evaluate a potential investor offering? How do you evaluate a potential partner?
  • Where is the market heading and what should providers be concerned about?
Reasons to attend
Reasons to attend
  • Meet one-on-one with industry investors, service providers, investment bankers and professionals
  • Learn the latest information on funding, legislation and current deals
  • Enhance your personal database with valuable new connections- share both ideas and business cards
  • Meet fellow service providers with the opportunity to have new and different conversations regarding the market and future of the industry
  • Understand which service models have the most robust outlook and how outcomes will impact the future of autism services
  • Hear from investors what they look for when exploring acquisitions
  • The right questions to ask when conducting due diligence on companies in the industry.
  • Learn about the current critical factors impacting autism service delivery models today
  • What to look for in an investor and how to know when investment is right for you
  • The keys to differentiation in the market place
Recent Middle-Market
ABA Deals​
  • HopeBridge acquired by Arsenal Capital Partners
  • Proud Moments acquired by Audax Private Equity
  • Learn Behavioral acquired by Gryphon Investors
  • The Shape of Behavior acquired by Blue Sprig
  • Behavioral Health Works acquired by TA Associates
  • Center for Autism and Related Disorders acquired by Blackstone
  • Total Spectrum Care acquired by Learn Behavioral
  • ABA of North Texas acquired by Pharos Capital
  • ChanceLight Behavioral Health acquired by Halifax Group
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AGENDA- This Agenda is subject to change

Monday, February 10th: Welcome Reception 

6-8 PM

 

Tuesday, February 11th: 

7:30AM – 4:45 PM

CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST

7:30 AM

WELCOME REMARKS

8:15 AM

The State of Autism Mergers & Acquisition: The Deals, The Data, & Implications for Buyers & Sellers

8:30 AM

Consolidation in the ABA market- considerations and implications.

9:30 AM

BREAK and NETWORKING

10:30 AM 

The Match in the Root Cellar – How to build a Peak Performance Culture

11:00 AM

Getting Personal about Living with Autism and ABA: Triumph and Overcoming the Odds

12:00 PM

LUNCH and NETWORKING

12:30 PM 

Current Trends in Payer Landscape: Value-Based Reimbursement

1:30 PM

Risk & Compliance:Considerations During Acquisition

2:30 PM

BREAK and NETWORKING

3:15 PM

The One-Stop Shop Model: Effective Collaboration Across Disciplines

3:45 PM

CLOSING REMARKS

4:30 PM

ABA/ Private Equity SPEED DATING (limited spots-separate registration required)

30-minute meetings scheduled between 12-5PM

 

COCKTAIL RECEPTION

6-8 PM

Wednesday, February 12: Day 2

7:30 – 4:45 PM

CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST

7:30 AM

A High Beam Look at Technology and Autism Services

8:30 AM

How to Build Value in Your Company: Considerations Before Selling

9:45 AM

BREAK and NETWORKING

10:30 AM

Outcomes

11:00 AM

Characteristics of a Successful Transaction

11:45 AM

LUNCH and NETWORKING

12:30 PM

BreakOut Sessions:

1. Data / Technology / Analytics

2. Talent Management

1:30 PM

Revenue Cycle Management

2:30 PM

BREAK and NETWORKING

3:15 PM

Deal Structure: The “real” value of a deal.

3:45 PM

CLOSING REMARKS

4:30 PM

GET IN TOUCH