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PFMT > SEC Filings for PFMT > Form 10-Q on 10-May-2013All Recent SEC Filings

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Form 10-Q for PERFORMANT FINANCIAL CORP


10-May-2013

Quarterly Report


ITEM 2. MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS.

You should read the following discussion in conjunction with our condensed consolidated financial statements (unaudited) and related notes included elsewhere in this report. This report on Form 10-Q contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. The words "believe," "may," "will," "estimate," "continue," "anticipate," "design," "intend," "expect" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. We have based these forward-looking statements largely on our current expectations and projections about future events and trends that we believe may affect our financial condition, results of operations, strategy, short-term and long-term business operations and objectives, and financial needs. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including those described in "Risk Factors" under Item 1A of Part II of this report. In light of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, the forward-looking events and trends discussed in this report may not occur, and actual results could differ materially and adversely from those anticipated or implied in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about our: opportunities and expectations for growth in the student lending, healthcare and other markets; anticipated trends and challenges in our business and competition in the markets in which we operate; our client relationships and future growth opportunities; the adaptability of our technology platform to new markets and processes; our ability to invest in and utilize our data and analytics capabilities to expand our capabilities; our belief that we benefit from a significant degree of revenue visibility; our growth strategy of expanding in our existing markets and considering strategic alliances or acquisitions; our ability to meet our liquidity and working capital needs; maintaining, protecting and enhancing our intellectual property; our expectations regarding future expenses; expected future financial performance; and our ability to comply with and adapt to industry regulations and compliance demands. The forward-looking statements in this report speak only as of the date hereof. We expressly disclaim any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in our expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

Overview

We provide technology-enabled recovery and related analytics services in the United States. Our services help identify and recover delinquent or defaulted assets and improper payments for both government and private clients in a broad range of markets. Our clients typically operate in complex and regulated environments and outsource their recovery needs in order to reduce losses on billions of dollars of defaulted student loans, improper healthcare payments and delinquent state tax and federal treasury and other receivables. We generally provide our services on an outsourced basis, where we handle many or all aspects of our clients' recovery processes.

Our revenue model is generally success-based as we earn fees on the aggregate amount of funds that we enable our clients to recover. Our services do not require any significant upfront investments by our clients and offer our clients the opportunity to recover significant funds otherwise lost. Because our model is based upon the success of our efforts and the dollars we enable our clients to recover, our business objectives are aligned with those of our clients and we are generally not reliant on their spending budgets. Furthermore, our business model does not require significant capital expenditures and we do not purchase loans or obligations. We believe we benefit from a significant degree of revenue visibility due to predictable recovery outcomes in a substantial portion of our business.

Sources of Revenues

We derive our revenues from services for clients in a variety of different
markets. These markets include our two largest markets, student lending and
healthcare, as well as our other markets which include but are not limited to
delinquent state taxes and federal Treasury and other receivables.



                                          Three Months Ended
                                               March 31,
                                           2013          2012
                                            (in thousands)
                      Student Lending   $   33,272     $ 29,168
                      Healthcare            10,285       12,069
                      Other                  5,806        4,641

                      Total Revenues    $   49,363     $ 45,878


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Student Lending

We derive the majority of our revenues from the recovery of student loans. These revenues are contract-based and consist primarily of contingency fees based on a specified percentage of the amount we enable our clients to recover. Our contingency fee percentage for a particular recovery depends on the type of recovery facilitated. We also receive incremental performance incentives based upon our performance as compared to other contractors with the Department of Education, which are comprised of additional inventory allocation volumes and incentive fees.

We believe the size and the composition of our student loan inventory at any point provides us with a significant degree of revenue visibility for our student loan revenues. Based on data compiled from over two decades of experience with the recovery of defaulted student loans, at the time we receive a placement of student loans, we are able to make a reasonably accurate estimate of the recovery outcomes likely to be derived from such placement and the revenues we are likely able to generate based on the anticipated recovery outcomes.

There are five potential outcomes to the student loan recovery process from which we generate revenues. These outcomes include: full repayment, recurring payments, rehabilitation, loan restructuring and wage garnishment. Of these five potential outcomes, our ability to rehabilitate defaulted student loans is the most significant component of our revenues in this market. Generally, a loan is considered successfully rehabilitated after the student loan borrower has made nine consecutive monthly payments and our client has notified us that it is recalling the loan. Once we have structured and implemented a repayment program for a defaulted borrower, we (i) earn a percentage of each periodic payment collected up to and including the final periodic payment prior to the loan being considered "rehabilitated" by our clients, and (ii) if the loan is "rehabilitated," then we are paid a one-time percentage of the total amount of the remaining unpaid balance. The fees we are paid vary by recovery outcome as well as by contract. For non-government-supported student loans we are generally only paid contingency fees on two outcomes: full repayment or recurring repayments. The table below describes our typical fee structure for each of these five outcomes.

                            Student Loan Recovery Outcomes
                      Recurring                             Loan              Wage
Full Repayment        Payments       Rehabilitation     Restructuring     Garnishment

  Repayment in      Regular          After a          Restructure      If we are
full of the loan   structured        defaulted         and consolidate   unable to
                   payments,         borrower has      a number of       obtain
                   typically         made nine         outstanding       voluntary
                   according to a    consecutive       loans into a      repayment,
                   renegotiated      recurring         single loan,      payments may
                   payment plan      payments, the     typically with    be obtained
                                     loan is           one monthly       through wage
                                     eligible for      payment and an    garnishment
                                     rehabilitation    extended          after certain
                                                       maturity          administrative
                                                                         requirements
                                                                         are met

  We are paid a     We are paid      We are paid      We are paid      We are paid
percentage of      a percentage of   based on a        based on a        a percentage
the full payment   each payment      percentage of     percentage of     of each
that is made                         the overall       overall value     payment
                                     value of the      of the
                                     rehabilitated     restructured
                                     loan              loan

For certain guaranty agency, or GA, clients, we have entered into Master Service Agreements, or MSAs. Under these agreements, clients provide their entire inventory of outsourced loans or receivables to us for recovery on an exclusive basis, rather than just a portion, as with traditional contracts that are split among various service providers. In certain circumstances, we engage subcontractors to assist in the recovery of a portion of the client's portfolio. We also receive success fees for the recovery of loans under MSAs and our revenues under MSA arrangements include fees earned by the activities of our subcontractors. As of March 31, 2013, we had three MSA clients in the student loan market.

Healthcare

We derive revenues from the healthcare market primarily from our Recovery Audit Contractor, or RAC, contract, under which we are the prime contractor responsible for detecting improperly paid Part A and Part B Medicare claims in 12 states in the Northeastern United States. Revenues earned under the RAC contract are driven by the identification of improperly paid Medicare claims through both automated and manual review of such claims. We are paid contingency fees by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, based on a percentage of the dollar amount of claims recovered by CMS as a result of our efforts. We recognize revenue when the provider pays CMS or incurs an offset against future Medicare claims. The revenues we recognize are net of our estimate of claims that will be overturned by appeal following payment by the provider.


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To accelerate our ability to provide Medicare audit and recovery services across our region following our award of the RAC contract, we outsourced certain aspects of our healthcare recovery process to three different subcontractors. Two of these subcontractors provide a specific service to us in connection with our claims recovery process, and one subcontractor is engaged to provide all of the audit and recovery services for claims within a portion of our region. According to CMS, the geographic area allocated to this subcontractor represented approximately 17% of the total Medicare spending in our region in 2009. We recognize all of the revenues generated by the claims recovered through these subcontractor relationships, and we recognize the fees that we pay to these subcontractors in our expenses.

Other

We also derive revenues from the recovery of delinquent state taxes, and federal Treasury and other receivables, default aversion services for certain clients including financial institutions and the licensing of hosted technology solutions to certain clients. For our hosted technology services, we license our system and integrate our technology into our clients' operations, for which we are paid a licensing fee. Our revenues for these services include contingency fees, fees based on dedicated headcount to our clients and hosted technology licensing fees.

Operating Metrics

We monitor a number of operating metrics in order to evaluate our business and
make decisions regarding our corporate strategy. These key metrics include
Placement Volume, Placement Revenue as a Percentage of Placement Volume, Net
Claim Recovery Volume and Claim Recovery Fee Rate.



                                                             Three Months Ended
                                                                 March 31,
                                                           2013             2012
                                                           (dollars in thousands)
Student Lending:
Placement Volume                                        $ 1,745,281      $ 1,001,808
Placement Revenue as a percentage of Placement Volume          1.91 %           2.91 %
Healthcare:
Net Claim Recovery Volume                                    90,410          106,100
Claim Recovery Fee Rate                                       11.38 %          11.38 %

Placement Volume. Our Placement Volume represents the dollar volume of defaulted student loans first placed with us during the specified period by public and private clients for recovery. Placement Volume allows us to measure and track trends in the amount of inventory our clients in the student lending market are placing with us during any period. The revenues associated with the recovery of a portion of these loans may be recognized in subsequent accounting periods, which assists management in estimating future revenues and in allocating resources necessary to address current Placement Volumes.

Placement Revenue as a Percentage of Placement Volume. Placement Revenue as a Percentage of Placement Volume is calculated by dividing revenues recognized during the specified period by Placement Volume first placed with us during that same period. This metric is subject to some level of variation from period to period based upon certain timing differences including, but not limited to, the timing of placements received by us within a period and the fact that a significant portion of revenues recognized in a current period is often generated from the Placement Volume received in prior periods. However, we believe that this metric provides a useful indication of the revenues we are generating from Placement Volumes on an ongoing basis and provides management with an indication of the relative efficiency of our recovery operations from period to period.

Net Claim Recovery Volume. Our Net Claim Recovery Volume measures the dollar volume of improper Medicare claims that we have recovered for CMS during the applicable period net of any amount that we have reserved to cover appeals by healthcare providers. We are paid recovery fees as a percentage of this recovered claim volume. We calculate this metric by dividing our claim recovery revenues by our Claim Recovery Fee Rate. This metric shows trends in the volume of improper payments within our region and allows management to measure our success in finding these improper payments, over time.

Claim Recovery Fee Rate. Our Claim Recovery Fee Rate represents the weighted-average percentage of our fees compared to amounts recovered by CMS. This percentage primarily depends on the method of recovery and, in some cases, the type of improper payment that we identify. This metric helps management measure the amount of revenues we generate from Net Claim Recovery Volume.


Table of Contents

Costs and Expenses

We generally report two categories of operating expenses: salaries and benefits and other operating expense. Salaries and benefits expenses consist primarily of salaries and performance incentives paid and benefits provided to our employees. Other operating expense includes expenses related to our use of subcontractors, other production related expenses, including costs associated with data processing, retrieval of medical records, printing and mailing services, amortization and other outside services, as well as general corporate and administrative expenses. We expect a significant portion of our expenses to increase as we grow our business. However, we expect certain expenses, including our corporate and general administrative expenses, to grow at a slower rate than our revenues. As a result, and over the long term, we expect our overall expenses to modestly decline as a percentage of revenues.

We have and will continue to incur additional professional fees and other expenses resulting from future expansion and the compliance requirements of operating as a public company, including increased audit and legal expenses, investor relations expenses, increased insurance expenses, particularly for directors' and officers' liability insurance, and the costs of complying with
Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. While these costs may initially increase as a percentage of our revenues, we expect that in the future these expenses will increase at a slower rate than our overall business volume, and that they may eventually represent a smaller percentage of our revenues.

Factors Affecting Our Operating Results

Allocation of Placement Volume

Our clients have the right to unilaterally set and increase or reduce the volume of defaulted student loans or other receivables that we service at any given time. In addition, many of our recovery contracts for student loans and other receivables are not exclusive, with our clients retaining multiple service providers to service portions of their portfolios. Accordingly, the number of delinquent student loans or other receivables that are placed with us may vary from time to time, which may have a significant effect on the amount and timing of our revenues. We believe the major factors that influence the number of placements we receive from our clients in the student loan market include our performance under our existing contracts and our ability to perform well against competitors for a particular client. To the extent that we perform well under our existing contracts and differentiate our services from those of our competitors, we may receive a relatively greater number of placements under these existing contracts and may improve our ability to obtain future contracts from these clients and other potential clients. Further, delays in placement volume, as well as acceleration of placement volume, from any of our large clients may cause our revenues and operating results to vary from quarter to quarter.

Typically we are able to anticipate with reasonable accuracy the timing and volume of placements of defaulted student loans and other receivables based on historical patterns and regular communication with our clients. Occasionally, however, placements are delayed due to factors outside of our control. For example, a technology system upgrade at the Department of Education significantly decreased the volume of student loan placements by the Department of Education to all recovery vendors, including us. While we and the other recovery vendors received substantially larger placement volume in the fourth quarter of 2012, the majority of the revenues from these placements will be delayed until the third quarter of 2013 because we do not begin to earn rehabilitation revenues from a given placement until at least nine months after receipt of a placement. While we believe that this technology system upgrade is substantially complete we believe that there remains a backlog of defaulted student loans that have not been placed with recovery vendors. In addition, for approximately twelve months beginning in September 2011, because of this technology system upgrade, the Department of Education was not able to process a portion of rehabilitated student loans and accordingly we were not able to recognize certain revenues associated with rehabilitation of loans for this client. However, the Department of Education continued to pay us based on invoices submitted and we recorded these cash receipts as deferred revenues on our balance sheet. The amount of placement volume that we receive is also dependent on the client relationships that we maintain. We analyze the profitability of each of our student lending clients, and sometimes determine that our resources servicing a specific client should be allocated elsewhere.

Claim Recovery Volume

While we are entitled to review Medicare records for all Part A and Part B claims in our region, we are not permitted to identify an improper claim unless that particular type of claim has been pre-approved by CMS to ensure compliance with applicable Medicare payment policies, as well as national and local coverage determinations. The growth of our revenues is determined primarily by the aggregate volume of Medicare claims in our region and our ability to identify improper payments within these claims. However, the long-term growth of these revenues will also be affected by the scope of the issues pre-approved by CMS.

Further, our claim recovery volume is currently impacted by a system adjustment that is being implemented by CMS for its Periodic Interim Payment, or PIP, providers. PIP providers are reimbursed for Medicare claims through different processes than other healthcare providers, and CMS is in the process of making certain system adjustments in order to allow these claims to be processed. Prior to April 2012, we were not permitted to audit Medicare claims for these PIP providers, which we estimate to account for approximately 20% of Medicare claims in our region. The improper payments to PIP providers that we have identified were not processed by CMS from April 2012 until January 2013, when a small portion of such payments began to be processed manually. As a


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result, we estimate that we had approximately $6 million of delayed revenue related to identified improper payments to PIP providers as of December 31, 2012. Of this approximate $6 million of delayed revenue, we have only been able to recognize approximately $0.2 million in revenues from identified improper payments to PIP providers during the three months ended March 31, 2013, but we have incurred expenses related to these claims. CMS remains in the process of implementing the necessary changes to its systems that would allow these claims to be processed automatically and allow us to recognize the significant majority of these revenues. It is expected that the necessary upgrade will be complete in the second quarter of 2013, although this is outside of our control and the failure of CMS to process these and future claims on a timely basis will delay our recognition of the related revenues.

In addition, it is possible that transition procedures that may be implemented by CMS in connection with the re-bidding process for the RAC contract could result in an interruption in our ability to review records and identify improper claims and as a result cause a delay in recognizing certain revenues. While we originally expected this interruption to last several weeks, a protest related to the new RAC contract was filed by one of the current RAC vendors, and this interruption may be extended. While we believe that it is likely that CMS will seek to minimize disruption due to the volume of improper payments at stake, any prolonged interruption will adversely affect our results of operations.

Healthcare providers have also taken various actions aimed at limiting Medicare audit and recovery activities. For example, in November 2012 the American Hospital Association and four hospitals filed a lawsuit against Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. The lawsuit claims, among other things, that CMS is acting improperly in completely denying payment for claims initially made under Medicare Part A (inpatient) that should have been made under Medicare Part B (outpatient), rather than remitting the difference between the Part A and Part B payments. A bill has also been introduced in the U.S. Congress that would also permit healthcare providers to resubmit such claims for payment for Part B services. CMS has recently proposed rules that would permit healthcare providers to resubmit certain of these claims for payment for Part B services and we do not expect that recovery auditors will be compensated on a complete denial for Part A claims under the new RAC contract. This type of improper claim has accounted for a substantial portion of the claims that we have identified under our RAC contract.

Contingency Fees

Our revenues consist primarily of contract-based contingency fees. The contingency fee percentages that we earn are set by our clients or agreed upon during the bid process, and may change from time to time either under the terms of existing contracts or pursuant to the terms of contract renewals. For example, our contractual arrangement with the Department of Education has recently changed as a result of the Department of Education's decision to have its recovery vendors promote IBR to defaulted student loans. The IBR program provides flexibility on the required monthly payment for student loan borrowers at an amount intended to be affordable based on a borrower's income and family size. As a result of the increased application of the IBR program to defaulted student loans, we expect that there will be an increase in the number of loans that become eligible for rehabilitation because more defaulted student loan borrowers will be able to make qualifying payments. In connection with the implementation of the IBR program, the Department of Education has reduced the contingency fee rate that we will receive for rehabilitating student loans by approximately 13% effective as of March 1, 2013. We expect that revenues derived from the increased volume of rehabilitated students loans will offset the decrease in contingency fee rates that we receive from the Department of Education.

Regulatory Matters

Each of the markets which we serve is highly regulated. Accordingly, changes in regulations that affect the types of loans, receivables and claims that we are able to service or the manner in which any such delinquent loans, receivables and claims can be recovered will affect our revenues and results of operations. For example, the passage of the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, or SAFRA, in 2010 had the effect of transferring the origination of all government-supported student loans to the Department of Education, thereby ending all student loan originations guaranteed by the GAs. Loans guaranteed by the GAs represented approximately 70% of government-supported student loans originated in 2009. While the GAs will continue to service existing outstanding student loans for years to come, this legislation will over time shift the portfolio of student loans that we manage toward the Department of Education, and further concentrate our sources of revenues and increase our reliance on our relationship with the Department of Education. In addition, our entry into the healthcare market was facilitated by passage of the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006, which mandated CMS to contract with private firms to audit Medicare claims in an effort to increase the recovery of improper Medicare payments. Any changes to the regulations that affect the student loan industry or the recovery of defaulted student loans or the Medicare program generally or the audit and recovery of Medicare claims could have a significant impact on our revenues and results of operations.

Client Concentration

Our revenues from the student loan market depend on our ability to maintain our contracts with some of the largest providers of student loans. In 2012, four providers of student loans each accounted for more than 10% of our revenues during such period and they collectively accounted for 55% of our total revenues . . .

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