Medibank share price edges lower amid $31 million joint venture news

A male investor wearing a white shirt and blue suit jacket sits at his desk looking at his laptop with his hands to his chin, waiting in anticipation.A male investor wearing a white shirt and blue suit jacket sits at his desk looking at his laptop with his hands to his chin, waiting in anticipation.

The Medibank Private Ltd (ASX: MPL) share price has dipped into the red in early morning trade, down 0.3%.

Shares in the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) financial services stock, Australia’s biggest health insurer, closed yesterday trading for $3.26. Shares are currently swapping hands for $3.25.

This comes after more than $5.3 million worth of shares have already changed hands this morning following news of a $31 million joint venture.

What’s happening with the joint venture?

The Medibank share price is edging lower amid news that the company has entered into a 50/50 joint venture with Aurora Healthcare, known as iMH, that will establish three mental-health hospitals.

iMH will initially invest $31 million into the three hospitals delivering 153 new mental health beds along with out-of-hospital support services like telehealth in home and community settings.

Aurora Healthcare is providing two hospitals in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, Deakin Private Hospital and Hirondelle Private hospital. iMH will invest in a new 56-bed mental health facility. That will be developed in Alexandria, New South Wales.

The joint venture’s acquisition of Deakin Private Hospital and Hirondelle Private hospital has been completed. The investment for the new facility in Alexandria is in the pipeline.

Executive commentary

Commenting on the development, Aurora Healthcare Australia CEO Julia Strickland-Bellamy, said:

The model will address the clear unmet demand in the community. In our network alone, the wait list for outpatient psychiatry has been at around six months over the past two years.

Providing people with treatment options beyond what has historically been solely hospital-centric care will help to support greater access, choice and flexibility.

Addressing the issue that the health insurer might influence a patient’s decisions, Strickland-Bellamy said, “It’s ultimately about the most appropriate treatment pathway for each individual patient, regardless of their private health insurer. All decisions about their suitability for the model will be made by the patient alongside their doctor and the hospital’s clinical team.”

Medibank group executive and CEO of Amplar Health Andrew Wilson said, “Integrating inpatient and out-of-hospital care helps patients access support when and where they need it.”

Wilson added:

It shouldn’t have to be one or the other. Many patients would benefit from the iMH model, which is designed around their individual needs and circumstances under the direction of their treating psychiatrist.

Deakin Private Hospital will open in the coming months, while Hirondelle Private Hospital is expected to open later this year.

Medibank share price snapshot

As you can see in the chart below, the Medibank share price has had a good run in 2023, up 10% since the closing bell on 30 December.

The post Medibank share price edges lower amid $31 million joint venture news appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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Motley Fool contributor Bernd Struben has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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