HBF expands health footprint with acquisition of Life Ready

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HBF has entered into a binding agreement to acquire physiotherapy and allied health business Life Ready Health Group.

Life Ready is the largest diversified physiotherapy group headquartered in Western Australia.

It has 32 clinics in WA, Victoria and Queensland and employs more than 400 people nationwide working across three businesses - Life Ready Physio + Pilates, Life Ready Mobile and Life Ready Biosymm.

HBF said its acquisition of 100 per cent of Life Ready is in line with its strategy of expanding into health services, building on the launch of HBF Dental in February 2021, its investment in Pacific Smiles Group and alliance with Pharmacy 777.

It said it expects to complete the acquisition by the end of the first quarter and no formal regulatory approvals are required.

HBF also said Life Ready’s national footprint also aligns with its growing membership on Australia’s east coast.

According to HBF CEO John Van Der Wielen, “As a purpose-driven organisation, HBF has been making serious investments to expand into health services and become integrated in the health sector to deliver greater value for our members and provide opportunities to improve their health outcomes.

“We know there is strong demand for physiotherapy services – it was our third most claimed ancillary benefit last financial year, accessed by around 160,000 members – and this acquisition will see HBF become the first private health insurer in Australia to meaningfully expand into retail and corporate physiotherapy.

“Life Ready represents an excellent strategic fit for HBF given its commitment to high quality, client-focused care, a significant presence where our members live nationally, and a strong track record of growth. I look forward to warmly welcoming over 400 Life Ready practitioners and support staff to HBF in the coming months.”

Dr Daniel Heredia, HBF executive general manager of health said, “Acquiring Life Ready enables HBF to further improve the physical wellbeing of our members and the community. It will see HBF provide high-quality preventative and rehabilitative physiotherapy treatment via both Life Ready’s clinics and in-home through its mobile services, as well as early intervention and work health services for corporate clients via Biosymm.

“We’ve already seen a strong community response from our expansion into dental, with around 11,000 patients since our first HBF Dental centre opened less than 12 months ago. 75 dental and support staff now work across five HBF Dental centres in Perth, with plans to add two more centres by the middle of this year.

“Just like our expansion into dental, HBF is committed to maintaining choice for members and the broader community – our members will always be able to choose where they go to for physiotherapy treatment and Life Ready’s services will be open to anyone.”

Ben Trinh, Life Ready founder and CEO added, “Since our inception, Life Ready has been passionate about discovering new and innovative pathways to raise the bar of our profession. We love people, we love to challenge the status quo, and we love to innovate by embracing and driving change to deliver on our purpose – to help our industry and patients move toward their best quality of life.

“Joining with HBF is the next step in our evolution to keep delivering on our purpose. In partnering with a not-for-profit organisation that is committed to looking after its more than one million members across Australia, we have the opportunity to achieve far more for the wellbeing of more people than we could have ever dreamed and provide additional wellness offerings for our corporate clients.”