By buying HIE provider Medicity for $500 million, Aetna is enabling medical professionals to have greater access to patient information.
plan firm Aetna
purchased HIE (health information exchange) provider Medicity for about $500
million to allow doctors and hospitals greater access to electronic health
records across multiple networks, Aetna
Medicity operates one of the largest enterprise HIEs and is available to 760
hospitals, 125,000 physician users and 250,000 users, Aetna
The HIE provider will remain its own unit within Aetna,
a health benefits provider serving 35.4 million people.
In a company blog post
, Medicity said that regulations by the
federal government for reimbursement and mandates for reform are leading to a
trend of convergence in the health care industry.
In addition, combining medical and financial data within one company allows
for ACOs (accountable care organizations) to develop, according to Medicity,
which is based in Salt Lake City.
"Organizations like ACOs must actively oversee and coordinate best
practices among participating providers to improve clinical outcomes while
rewarding providers for preventative care and cost-effectiveness,"
Medicity wrote in its post. "Significantly, ACOs will administer payment
distribution and reimbursement among participating entities, requiring
oversight of both financial and clinical information."
Mergers in health care also are important for the growth of PCMHs
(patient-centered medical homes), Medicity wrote.
"This acquisition will enable Aetna to offer a set of convenient,
easy-to-access technology solutions for physicians, hospitals and other health
care providers," Mark T. Bertolini, Aetna's CEO and president, said in a
statement. "That, in turn, can help improve the quality and efficiency of
patient care. Strategically, we believe this acquisition will enhance Aetna's capabilities and accelerate our growth in the
health information technology and health information exchange space."
Medicity offers a product called iNexx
, a Web-based open platform for health care IT app
design and delivery.
"The combination of Medicity's connected health care platform for
providers with the clinical decision support capabilities of Aetna's
ActiveHealth Management subsidiary can help physicians make better decisions in
real-time as they collaborate and coordinate care," Dr. James K.
Lassetter, Medicity's chairman and CEO, said in a statement.
Dec. 7 acquisition came about four months after UnitedHealthcare's health care
IT unit Ingenix purchased HIE provider Axolotl.
just a few short months these two payers have completely changed the landscape
of the HIE market by acquiring the two leading HIE vendors in the market
today," wrote John Moore, a Chilmark Research analyst, in a blog post.
Having quick access to patient records across multiple
databases in HIEs leads to more effective and more-informed patient care.
"HIEs are bringing us closer to the point where all the
health care professionals patients select to oversee their care can connect to
share information and optimize outcomes," Andy Slavitt, CEO of Ingenix,
said in an Aug. 16 statement at the time of the announcement.
The Axolotl Elysium Exchange networks are used by close to
30,000 doctors, 100,000 health care professionals, more than 200 hospitals and
four statewide HIEs, according to the Aug. 16 release.
In November, Aetna announced a plan to build an HIE in
Puerto Rico with IBM and Medens, a cloud computing and health IT company.
On Aug. 5, Aetna's ActiveHealth Management subsidiary
launched a cloud-based patient record service called Collaborative Care.