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Powered by Battery  |  August 5, 2019
The Doctor Is In: WebPT’s Nancy Ham Talks Healthcare-IT, Opioids and Diversity

The Powered by Battery podcast features guests from inside and outside the Battery ecosystem discussing major tech issues of the day. Guests from the Battery portfolio in this season of the podcast represent a subset of business-software and enterprise-infrastructure companies, across investment stages and geographies, highlighting the trends of marketing tech; the broader use of big data and AI; productivity software; user experience; and healthcare software. If you’re interested in learning more about these companies, or others in the Battery portfolio, you can access more information here.

Did you know that only ten percent of Americans who need physical therapy are actually getting it? Nancy Ham, the CEO of rehab-software company WebPT*, knows it—and is busy scaling a large technology business to make sure more people get the care they need, efficiently and seamlessly.

In this episode of Powered by Battery, we chat with Ham, a longtime healthcare-IT executive who joined WebPT in 2016. Ham reflects on why so few people are now getting the PT they need, and how more streamlined access to physical therapy could actually put a dent in the nation’s devastating opioid crisis. She also offers tips for other executives on how to manage M&A at the corporate level; how to build a unique and cohesive culture; and how having a more diverse management team and board can pay dividends, or at least change the tone in the boardroom. Have a listen.

Key takeaways:

  • Often there’s a lack of data in smaller, “niche” industries, and companies can gain brand visibility by doing comprehensive research that unearths such data—and then marketing it in smart ways.
  • Today, roughly 75% of all opioids are prescribed for musculoskeletal pain, the vast majority for patients suffering from lower back pain. Research suggests that if all of these people went to physical therapy three times for such pain, instead of getting a prescription, 85% of them might never need opioids as part of their treatment.
  • But many people do not seek physical therapy or chiropractic care initially for pain because they prefer a “quick fix” in the form of a doctor visit and prescription, according to Ham.
  • When doing M&A, too many executives buy the wrong companies and pay too much. A better strategy is starting with a blank-sheet-of-paper approach and asking basic questions about why you need to acquire a company and which specific features or functions will actually complement or grow your business.
  • Focusing on culture and core values, and inclusion, can help employee morale and produce a better-functioning workforce. Additionally, having more women in the boardroom can sometimes lead to more directness and fewer corporate politics, Ham believes.


This material is provided for informational purposes, and it is not, and may not be relied on in any manner as, legal, tax or investment advice or as an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy an interest in any fund or investment vehicle managed by Battery Ventures or any other Battery entity. 

The information and data are as of the publication date unless otherwise noted.

Content obtained from third-party sources, although believed to be reliable, has not been independently verified as to its accuracy or completeness and cannot be guaranteed. Battery Ventures has no obligation to update, modify or amend the content of this post nor notify its readers in the event that any information, opinion, projection, forecast or estimate included, changes or subsequently becomes inaccurate.

The information above may contain projections or other forward-looking statements regarding future events or expectations. Predictions, opinions and other information discussed in this video are subject to change continually and without notice of any kind and may no longer be true after the date indicated. Battery Ventures assumes no duty to and does not undertake to update forward-looking statements.

*Denotes a Battery portfolio company. For a full list of all Battery investments, please click here.

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