Slideshow Tracking HIT Acquisitions in 1Q 2013

  • April 14 2013, 4:47pm EDT
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Tracking HIT Acquisitions in 1Q 2013

Plenty of familiar names were among the health information technology software vendors sold in deals announced during the first quarter of 2013. Here's a look at the top buys.


Cerner Corp. made two acquisitions in the past three months. Ontario-based Labotix Automation Inc. makes an automated specimen sorting system for clinical labs and delivers specimens to analyzers from any vendor. Combined with its clinical and anatomic pathology systems, the buy creates a market suite to support high volume testing, Cerner says. The company also picked up PureWellness, vendor of an online platform of tools, information and services to support population health management.

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Making a splash at HIMSS13, Allscripts announced the acquiring of health information exchange vendor dbMotion and patient engagement software firm Jardogs. The buys are part of Allscripts’ “Connected Community of Health” initiative that will get a $500 million investment during 2013, says CEO Paul Black. The product suite also will include analytics, home health and hospice, care coordination and master patient index software. Allscripts paid about $235 million in cash and stock for dbMotion; terms of the Jardogs deal were not disclosed.

Aggressive Market Move

Physician business office outsourcing and software vendor athenahealth made a big move to expand market share when it paid $293 million for Epocrates. Athenahealth brought a mobile computing vendor of point-of-care drug and disease management software that more than 330,000 clinicians use. Seventy percent of physicians don’t know athenahealth, but the same percentage use Epocrates, says CEO Jonathan Bush, who acknowledges the price was steep. Athenahealth, with 38,000 prescribing clinicians, will integrate the reference content into its electronic health records software.

Two Major Clearinghouses Combine

ABILITY Networks, which specializes in Medicare and Medicaid transactions processing but also offers an all-payer clearinghouse, acquired veteran firm IVANS for an undisclosed sum. IVANS also specializes in Medicare transactions and has deeper penetration with those payers. The companies expect the deal will accelerate and expand delivery of products and services. IVANS also processes transactions for property and casualty insurers, and ABILITY will sell that business to Applied Systems Inc., an established P&C vendor.

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Big Push for Analytics

The Optum Health technology unit of insurer UnitedHealth Group bought clinical data analytics vendor Humedica. Terms were not disclosed, but the Boston Business Journal reported the price was in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Optum recently teamed with Mayo Clinic to build a collaborative research and development laboratory focusing on using claims and clinical data to identify best treatments, cost effectiveness, and better understanding of health disparities. The organizations seek additional partners.

TriZetto Targets Automated Payments

Payer software firm TriZetto Corp. acquired Healthcare Productivity Automation, which sells a claims workflow tool to automate manual payment processes by providers and insurers. The tool replicates human decision-making to review large amounts of claims, enter data and determine the best way to process claims. The system also includes analytics and HPA touts a return on investment in two months.

Clearinghouse Adds Western Market Share

Passport Health Communications’ pick-up of California-based Data Systems Group gives it 200+ new hospital clients and 85 practices in the Western states. Passport also picks up direct connections to several California insurers, particularly Medicaid and Medicare.

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Payer Vendor Enhances ACO Services

The acquisition of Cerecons gives Medecision Web-based care coordination, population management and quality /outcomes reporting software for accountable care organizations and other risk-bearing entities. Cerecons also bring clinical analytics and alerts, patient portal software, and 72 risk-bearing payer and provider entities as clients. Medecision recently integrated its care management software to the Availity clearinghouse to enable providers and payers to conduct real-time transmissions of admission and discharge information. This will enable immediate initiation of post-discharge care plans.

Investor Expands its HIT Portfolio

Investment firm Primus Capital Funds has added patient education/risk management vendor Emmi Solutions to its portfolio after buying a controlling interest. Emmi offers Web-based interactive presentations on medical conditions and related procedures, educating patients while also providing informed consent documentation. Other Primus holdings in the HIT field include Healthcare Management Systems (hospitals), InSite One (medical image archive), Passport Health Communications (transactions processing), MedHost (emergency department), AOD Software (long-term care), Vendormate (credentialing/compliance/vendor mgmt.) and excelleRx (hospice).

Blues Expand Analytics Capabilities

Blue Health Intelligence, the database/analytics division of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, added analytics vendor Intelimedix for an undisclosed sum. BHI’s database holds medical and pharmacy claims data from more than 110 million individuals. Now it adds supporting analysis of such issues as unnecessary care, fraud and abuse, overpayment from billing/coding errors and preventable conditions. This will help insurers and employers better manage financial and medical risk, according to the vendors.