Welltok acquires Tea Leaves Health in pop health move

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Two population health management vendors are combining their core competencies to better help hospitals identify and engage at-risk patients.

Welltok, operator of the CafeWell Health population health management platform, has acquired Tea Leaves Health for an undisclosed purchase price. Details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Both companies have a similar mission of focusing on consumers and collecting the data needed to target behavior, while improving provider bottom lines.

Welltok’s platform has a database of 275 million consumers, to support its business of delivering personalized guidance and support to help insurers’ customers stay healthy. Tea Leaves has extensive consumer and medical data, including electronic medical record encounter data and social media tracking information, to support a 360-degree view of consumers.

Tea Leaves brings three major tools to Welltok—Patientology, to acquire and maintain profitable patients; Physicianology, to manage physician relationships and optimize referral patterns; and Decisionology, to analyze and prioritize strategic opportunities.

Tea Leaves also has a master patient index to help hospitals target patients with activities to change their behavior, but it could not provide a health improvement program that patients could join, a capability that it gets through the acquisition by Welltok and its CafeWell platform.

The new technology offerings come as hospital executives increasingly are moving toward value-based approaches and need to understand population health better if their organization is taking on risk.

“Similar to how health plans and employers are expanding beyond their traditional view of members and employees, respectively, innovative hospital systems also are extending their focus beyond patients’ episodes of care and recognizing the need to develop and sustain ongoing relationships,” says Jeff Margolis, chairman and CEO at Welltok.

With the relationship between the vendors still in the earliest stages, a top priority is to shore up the product lines and add new capabilities and functionalities, says Michelle Snyder, chief marketing officer at Welltok.

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For instance, the company will focus on how to expand outreach to patients by taking advantage of multimodal approaches, such as follow-up phone calls to patients from live agents to assess how patients are doing and if they need help.

Welltok also will aid hospitals in sending targeted texts, emails and automated voice response calls to remind patients of appointments. “You can have a list of patients, but unless you understand the modality most receptive to a patient, just having a list to call is meaningless,” Snyder says.

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