Intuit buys Medfusion

By Mike Miliard
09:51 AM
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Intuit Inc., the Mountain View, Calif.-based provider of financial management solutions for small and mid-sized businesses, will acquire Medfusion, of Cary, N.C., which makes front-office and back-office software designed to improve patient-to-provider communications. The deal is valued at about $91 million.

Medfusion offers online solutions to enable healthcare providers to offer superior service to their patients while improving office efficiency and generating revenue. The acquisition will accelerate Intuit's healthcare strategy by combining its consumer and small business solutions with Medfusion's patient-to-provider communication products, company executives said. Together the companies will be able to resolve healthcare provider and consumer concerns, such as:
• Enabling more effective and efficient patient interactions online,
• Accessing and managing personal health information.
• Creating more efficient ways for patients to settle and track their healthcare expenses.

"Providers have an increasing need to interact more efficiently and more effectively with their patients," said Rick Altinger, Intuit's director of provider services for Quicken Health. "A higher and higher percentage of their revenue is coming from their patients as opposed to health plans – in some cases as much as 20 to 25 percent. We believe our expertise, combined with Medfusion's traction, can dramatically simplify the way that providers communicate online with their patients and give them more time to do what they want to do, which is practice medicine."

Medfusion's online solution helps patients schedule appointments, pay bills, request prescription refills, complete medical forms, review lab results and clinical summaries, receive reminders and exchange secure messages for related care and administrative issues.

"This transaction expands our software-as-a-service offerings with a solution currently used by more than 30,000 healthcare providers, the vast majority of whom are essentially small businesses," said Brad Smith, Intuit's president and chief executive officer. "The combination of Medfusion's industry-leading patient-provider communication solutions and Intuit's expertise in creating innovative solutions that improve the financial lives of small businesses and consumers, will help us create new solutions that make the clinical, administrative and financial side of healthcare easier for everyone."

After the transaction closes, Intuit will build upon its existing Quicken Health solutions to make it easier for patients to understand their medical bills and for providers to get paid faster. The companies plan to combine Intuit's user interface and design expertise with Medfusion's broader portal offering and bill presentment and payment solutions.

Medfusion's patient-to-provider communication solution, combined with an electronic health record system, gives patients timely electronic access to their health information. This is one of the current requirements for eligible providers to receive the $44,000 per provider payment funded in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

Stephen Malik, Medfusion's founder and CEO, will become a senior vice president and general manager reporting to Smith. Malik will continue to run Medfusion and will lead Intuit's healthcare business from Medfusion's headquarters in North Carolina. "Our mission is to enable healthcare providers to better serve their patients through enhanced communications," said Malik.

Medfusion already uses Intuit solutions for some of its services. It offers an online bill payment solution to its customers using the Intuit Payment Solutions division's software development kit. In addition, Medfusion solutions can be offered to approximately 75,000 Intuit QuickBooks medical practices and thousands of healthcare practices that already use Intuit Websites.

"As the adoption of EHR systems accelerates," said Altinger, Intuit's purchase of Medfusion will help "make the consumer a part of it. Helping the consumer to engage in the healthcare IT revolution so they can better understand their healthcare and understand how the clinical side intersects with their financial responsibilities is something we're uniquely positioned to do."