Insurers get in IT game
Data is seen as key to the success of ACOs
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,”