McKesson is making a huge acquisition, paying $1.1 billion for a vendor offering prior authorization services to providers and payers, while hospital vendor GetWellNetwork is making its third acquisition in 30 months.

McKesson announced that it is purchasing CoverMyMeds, a company that has software to streamline the prior authorization process. CoverMyMeds presently serves 47,000 pharmacies and 700,000 prescribers, along with pharmacy benefit management firms and health insurers.

The software enables physicians to know when they are prescribing a medication if preauthorization for a prescription is needed; with that knowledge, physicians can know whether the dispensing of a prescription will be delayed. Allscripts and Cerner are among software vendors that have integrated the software into their electronic health record systems.

The acquisition price was set at $1.1 billion, but CoverMyMeds could fetch an additional $300 million based on its financial performance through fiscal 2019. CoverMyMeds will operate as an independent unit within McKesson under its existing leadership team.

Also See: Feds end review of McKesson-Change Healthcare deal

The acquisition supports McKesson’s commitment to provide services that drive value and secure patient access to their prescribed drugs, said McKesson CEO John Hammergren in a statement.

John Hammergren

In the other acquisition announcement, Now, GetWellNetwork has acquired Seamless Medical Systems, which sells a mobile platform via tablets or smartphones to support patient registration, insurance verification, collection of payment, patient education and practice marking, all integrated into providers’ practice management and electronic health record systems.

Terms of that deal were not disclosed.

GetWellNetwork offers educational, entertainment and communication services to patients and families via hospital room or physician waiting room televisions or tablet computers. Patients can watch TV, play games, learn more about their conditions, treatments, medication regimen and follow-up care, and contact staff or a nurse for service requests. An interactive whiteboard offers information on schedules, discharge plans and patient status, such as a patient reporting pain levels. Separate services are available for children, adults, senior citizens and veterans.

In 2014, GetWellNetwork acquired Marbella Technologies, which offers mobile patient rounding software, and, in September 2015, it bought Skylight Healthcare Systems, which has patient engagement technology similar to that of GetWellNetwork.

“Value-based care demands cross-continuum innovation, and we continue to move aggressively to ensure all patients, families and providers have the best possible experience in every setting,” GetWellNetwork CEO Michael O’Neil said in a statement.

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