McKesson Acquires RelayHealth, Launches Personal Health Solutions Group
Suite of Services Connect Patients, Providers, Care Managers and Health Plans; Enables Consumers to Manage Their Healthcare and Health Finances
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (BUSINESS WIRE) – June 12, 2006 – McKesson Corporation (NYSE:MCK) today announced the acquisition of RelayHealth Corporation, a leading provider of online physician-patient communication services. McKesson is the world’s largest healthcare IT and automation supplier, with products in 65 percent of U.S. health systems. McKesson also provides solutions to payor organizations reaching more than 80 percent of U.S. covered lives. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The acquisition of RelayHealth follows a strategic investment made in 2005 by McKesson with the goal of expanding its commitment in the personal health management space.
McKesson also announced a new Personal Health Solutions group within its Provider Technologies segment. Personal Health Solutions will serve the growing market for interactive technologies that empower consumers and patients through secure electronic access to healthcare providers, personal health records, healthcare financial management systems and other tools. The group will leverage McKesson’s broad-based strengths in disease management services across the entire continuum of care, from hospitals and outpatient facilities to physician offices and into the home. In addition to RelayHealth, McKesson’s personal health solutions include in-home patient monitoring, Web portal technology, triage software and personal emergency response systems, to name a few. The full solution suite will include products and services from recently acquired HealthCom Partners, LLC, which provides patient billing solutions designed to simplify and enhance financial interactions between healthcare providers and their patients.
“Changes in healthcare insurance models and unmet needs in chronic condition management have placed a greater burden than ever on consumers and providers,” said John Hammergren, McKesson chairman and chief executive officer. “Consumers are expected, and want, to play a more active role in decisions related to their health. However, until now many of the tools to equip them have simply been unavailable. McKesson will become the standard-bearer in solutions that empower consumers, patients and their providers to be active players in a safer, more convenient and more connected system of care.”
RelayHealth is a fundamental building block in McKesson’s physician connectivity strategy, as well as its consumer and personal health management strategies. Founded in 1999, RelayHealth pioneered the webVisit(R), a secure, insurer-reimbursed online consultation between physicians and patients. Today, RelayHealth’s network includes more than 18,000 health professionals, 600,000 patients and more than a dozen reimbursing health plans, including many of the largest national and regional insurers in the United States. In addition to the webVisit, RelayHealth services enable patients to maintain their own personal health records at home, view prescription medication lists and request renewals, set appointments, receive test results and securely communicate with their healthcare providers.
RelayHealth also improves continuity of care by connecting healthcare providers through secure clinical messaging across provider communities. The system allows physicians to collaborate more effectively and share information on patients and treatment recommendations. In addition, RelayHealth interoperates with leading electronic health record systems, reducing the time and cost associated with charting patient communications, as well as managing high volumes of patient follow-up requests. Independent research has documented statistically significant reductions in the overall cost of care, increases in physician productivity and practice efficiency, and high levels of satisfaction by patients who use the RelayHealth service.
“Physicians have increasingly Internet-savvy patients and can now provide them with the services they expect, including electronic communication, clinical care management tools, online payment and secure access to personal records,” said Giovanni Colella, M.D., former president and chief executive officer of RelayHealth Corporation, now the president and general manager of McKesson Personal Health Solutions. “Patients with chronic diseases — the cost of which accounts for more than 80% of all healthcare spending — will embrace online chronic care management provided by their own personal physicians.”
Colella noted that the new personal health portfolio enables payors to provide personal health management services to employers as part of benefit packages in health insurance plans. In turn, it enables health plans to embrace new ways to drive clinical IT through their provider networks in order to promote proactive care management and to provide enhanced, personal information services to their members.
“McKesson brings a passion for improving healthcare service and quality, deep healthcare IT expertise, and a broad distribution network to make patient-facing technologies widely available to connect patients to their physicians,” said Pamela Pure, president of McKesson Provider Technologies. “Patients want the convenience of monitoring their health conditions from home, communicating online with their physicians and managing their health benefit dollars. McKesson’s broad market presence with providers and payors uniquely positions us to distribute these services through our customers and partners.”
McKesson Corporation (NYSE:MCK), currently ranked 16th on the FORTUNE 500, is a healthcare services and information technology company dedicated to helping its customers deliver high-quality healthcare by reducing costs, streamlining processes, and improving the quality and safety of patient care. Over the course of its 173-year history, McKesson has grown by providing pharmaceutical and medical-surgical supply management across the spectrum of care; healthcare information technology for hospitals, physicians, homecare, and payors; hospital and retail pharmacy automation; and services for manufacturers and payors designed to improve outcomes for patients. For more information: www.mpt.mckesson.com.