Telemedicine vendor Avizia, which already serves about 1,300 hospitals, is expanding its reach by acquiring Carena, a smaller telehealth company that brings additional market share by focusing on primary care physicians, urgent care centers, standalone emergency departments and home-based teleconsultations.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Avizia was founded in 2013 and has financial backing from such major delivery systems as HealthQuest, Northwell Health and NewYork-Presbyterian. The vendor offers a telehealth platform, mobile carts and tablet computers to support teleconsultations, as well as software to track the sessions with a specific focus on acute cases such as stroke, pediatrics and specialty care.

The combined company now supports a quarter of the nation’s hospitals, says Mike Baird, CEO at Avizia, and Carena now further supplements the hospitals with a network of primary care providers that have worked with the vendor, which brings 120 hospital clients representing 35 million consumers.

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Sabrina Smith, interim CEO at the American Telemedicine Association, expressed support for the merger of Avizia and Carena, saying the consolidation is a result of the rapid movement toward using distance health approaches.

“The telemedicine industry is growing at lightning speed, and consolidations reflect that momentum,” she says.

Sabrina Smith

However, further growth of telehealth approaches is dependent on continued adaptations to federal policy and regulations, Smith adds.

“An equally important aspect of telemedicine’s growth is the work still to be done on eliminating legislative and regulatory barriers. Witnessing key players join forces means more opportunity for a unified voice in communicating to lawmakers telemedicine’s value,” she says. “Congressional support for telemedicine continues to grow, and unification like this one can be extremely beneficial in moving the needle on things like encouraging the House to adopt a companion bill to the CHRONIC Care Act, or garnering additional co-sponsorship for the CONNECT for Health Act.”

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