In­sur­ers get in IT game

Data is seen as key to the suc­cess of ACOs

Modern Healthcare - - The Week In Healthcare - Re­becca Ve­sely

In just a few short months, two ma­jor health in­sur­ers have up­ended the health in­for­ma­tion ex­change land­scape as they seek to be­come ac­tive play­ers in ac­count­able care or­ga­ni­za­tions while diver­si­fy­ing their busi­ness, an­a­lysts said.

Last week, Aetna an­nounced plans to ac­quire Medic­ity, a health in­for­ma­tion ex­change com­pany in Salt Lake City for $500 mil­lion. The news came three months af­ter In­genix, a sub­sidiary of Unit­edHealth Group, said it would ac­quire Ax­olotl Corp., a Medic­ity com­peti­tor in San Jose, Calif., for an undis­closed sum.

Medic­ity’s technology is used by 760 hos­pi­tals and 125,000 physi­cians, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany.

Ax­olotl, by com­par­i­son, reaches 200 hos­pi­tals and 30,000 physi­cians, ac­cord­ing to In­genix.

As the fed­eral health re­form law places more re­stric­tions on how plans can spend mem­ber premi­ums, ma­jor in­sur­ers are seek­ing al­ter­nate rev­enue streams.

What’s more, in­vest­ing in health in­for­ma­tion technology com­pa­nies gives them a leg up in terms of cap­tur­ing and an­a­lyz­ing pa­tient in­for­ma­tion.

“The real value of health in­for­ma­tion ex­changes is what you do with that data,”

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