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Data: Yahoo! Finance; Chart: Axios Visuals

Mental health care provider LifeStance Health has traded publicly for two weeks, and its stock has soared 57% from its $18 IPO price, giving the company a $10.6 billion valuation.

Why it matters: LifeStance's business rests on the idea that future demand for mental health services will continue to grow in the wake of the pandemic.

By the numbers: LifeStance, which is predominantly owned by private equity firm TPG, registered $377.2 million of revenue in 2020 and is on pace for roughly $600 million this year.

  • As of April, LifeStance operated 370 outpatient clinics with 3,300 psychiatrists, therapists and other mental health clinicians.

The big picture: LifeStance's business model is simple: People aren't getting enough care for their mental health conditions. So, build new clinics, attract mental health providers with better-paying, in-network insurance contracts, and then take a cut.

  • Mental health providers are more likely than any other specialty to be in their own practice, which means solo practitioners don't have leverage against large insurance companies and consequently are out-of-network.

"There's not a shortage of clinicians. There's a shortage of clinicians accepting commercial insurance," said LifeStance CEO Mike Lester, who owns roughly 6% of the company, a stake worth more than $600 million.

  • Before joining LifeStance, insurers paid the company's providers 85% of Medicare rates, Lester said. After, those rates jumped to 125% of Medicare.

What to watch: The growth. LifeStance is opening a 12-clinician outpatient center every four days, and each provider has waiting lists, Lester said.

Yes, but: 90% of LifeStance's revenue comes from people with commercial coverage, which means it caters to those who have job-based insurance over the poor and elderly.

Go deeper

Aug 10, 2021 - Health

Democrats' high-stakes fight against pharma

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Democrats' proposed expansions to health coverage and other patient-friendly policies released Monday are reliant on successfully taking on one of Washington's most powerful industries: pharmaceutical companies.

Between the lines: The way Democrats have set up their reconciliation package likely forces them to pass significant prescription drug pricing reform if they want to also pass other measures designed to make health care more affordable — a key selling point for the entire package.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

Reports: Up to 17 U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince earlier this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children were among up to 17 American Christian missionaries and their relatives kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, the New York Times first reported.

Details: The missionaries had just left an orphanage and were traveling by bus to the airport to "drop off some members" and were due to travel to another destination when the gang struck in Port-au-Prince, Haitian security officials said, per the NYT.

5 hours ago - World

Melbourne, "world's most locked-down city," to lift stay-at-home orders

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews during a news conference in Melbourne, Australia, on Sunday. Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Melbourne's stay-at-home orders will end five days earlier than planned, officials in Australia's second-biggest city announced Sunday.

Why it matters: The capital of the state of Victoria has had six lockdowns totaling 262 days since March last year. That means Melbourne spent longer under lockdown than "any other city in the world" during the pandemic, Reuters notes.

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