Kyruus acquires HealthSparq from Cambia Health Solutions

By connecting provider and payer access points, the deal aims to make care more available, boost care coordination and improve online patient experience, says Kyruus CEO Graham Gardner.
By Mike Miliard
04:31 PM

Provider search and scheduling company Kyruus announced Thursday that it will acquire HealthSparq, which partners with health plans to offer quality information to members.

The goal is to offer new innovations around how patients navigate the healthcare continuum, the companies say, creating a more seamless platform connecting payer and provider organizations.

Together, they'll offer patients more detailed insights into physician and hospital quality – and an easier way to find and schedule with providers who meet their needs.

Kyruus and HealthSparq serve more than fived-dozen health systems and 100 health plan brands between them, and already collaborate in some markets – enhancing health plan directories with provider-verified data and enabling online scheduling from payer websites.

After the acquisition, financial terms of which were not disclosed, they'll further integrate their platforms to combine personalized payer benefit and cost information with detailed provider data – and enabling hospitals and health systems to use insurance plan websites for their patient engagement efforts.

Eventually, the companies hope a unified platform will offer more seamless patient routing and matching across channels and boost the patient experience with more accessible and intuitive online scheduling.

As part of the acquisition, Cambia will have an ownership stake and a seat on the Kyruus board. The HealthSparq team will transition to Kyruus, with its CEO Mark Menton joining its executive team to serve as GM of Kyruus' health plan business unit.

This past year, in its 2019 Patient Access Journey Report, Kyruus tracked new trends into how patients looked for care and treatment online.

Unsurprisingly, it found that providers must boost their web experience if they hope to maintain a competitive advantage: Convenience and self-service were especially prized by patients as they researched providers and booked appointments.

Of the 1,000 consumers it surveyed – ages 18 to 65 or older, and a roughly equal mix of privately insured, Medicare and Medicaid patients – all had looked over the past two years for a new healthcare provider. More than 19% of those polled say they started their search by heading directly to a health system's website. Forty-three percent visit the provider website at some point during the search process.

Among other findings from the report, 32% of patients said they found primary care providers on their own. And one in three said they book appointments online. (In 2017, that number was one in four.)

"Kyruus helped pioneer the digital front door for health systems, but we always recognized that people enter healthcare through many channels," said Kyruus CEO Dr. Graham Gardner in a statement to Healthcare IT News. "Acquiring HealthSparq enables Kyruus to bridge gaps between providers and payers and streamline access across key digital channels. Our joint impact will help people make more informed care decisions to meet their unique needs and experience a new level of convenience in healthcare."

"HealthSparq has been a critical transparency tool for health plans, and Kyruus and HealthSparq together have the opportunity to accelerate innovation and growth to serve even more people nationwide," said Jared Short, president and COO for Cambia Health Solutions.

"We've grown up as part of Cambia, so understanding health plans is in our DNA and that insight allows us, as part of Kyruus, to help make healthcare access a seamless experience between patients, plans, and providers," added Menton.

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
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