Revenue/payment cycle management and clinical information exchange vendor Emdeon will acquire consumer education, transparency, and engagement developer Change Healthcare for $185 million.

"Change Healthcare will enable Emdeon to offer its customers additional solutions that marry cost and quality information with a robust inventory of consumer behavioral insights," Emdeon executives said in announcing the deal. "These solutions can help employees, health plan members and patients reduce costs and become better healthcare consumers."

"With a national customer base of health plans and employers and more than 10 million lives under contract, Change Healthcare is a leading provider of healthcare consumer engagement and value-based healthcare solutions that enable consumers to better understand and utilize their healthcare benefits and options; receive proactive insights on a dynamic basis at critical decision points; make informed healthcare purchasing decisions based on quality, cost and convenience; and manage their out-of-pocket responsibility and realize savings," according to the statement.

For its part, Emdeon processes more than 7 billion transactions with a claims value of $1 trillion annually. The company's Intelligent Healthcare Network reaches 700,000 physicians, 81,000 dentists, 60,000 pharmacies, 5,000 hospitals, 600 vendors, 450 laboratories and 1,200 government and commercial payers.

Emdeon will pay approximately $135 million in cash payable at closing for privately held Change Healthcare, plus additional contingent payments of up to $50 million based upon the attainment of financial performance objectives of the acquired business through the end of 2017.

The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close later this month. Current Change Healthcare employees will join Emdeon and form the core of the company's healthcare consumer engagement business. The business will be led by Change Healthcare's president and CEO, Doug Ghertner, who will report directly to Emdeon's CEO.

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