Nuance Communications has made its second acquisition in recent days, this time picking up consulting firm J.A. Thomas and Associates of Atlanta. The consultancy helps providers implement a clinical documentation improvement program and leaves behind proprietary software for the client to manage the program. Terms were not disclosed.

Nuance--which sells dictation, transcription, speech recognition and natural language processing software--on Sept. 27 announced it will buy the Quantim HIM unit of QuadraMed Corp. The back-to-back acquisitions bring two new services to Nuance--coding and clinical documentation improvement--as it focuses on helping 450,000 physician clients prepare for ICD-10.

Now, Nuance will embed its natural language processing software into Quantim’s computer-assisted coding software to help coders better comply with ICD-10. It will embed NLP into J.A. Thomas’ clinical documentation improvement software to help physicians comply with ICD-10. For instance, a physician documenting heart failure will be prompted to document the specificity and severity of the condition.

J.A. Thomas serves more than 500 hospitals and about 80 percent of its clients overlap with Nuance, so the acquisition brings Nuance more capabilities and depth than a new market to cross-sell additional services.

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