- Health benefits platform Accolade has signed a definitive agreement to acquire virtual primary care company PlushCare for $450 million, according to a Friday statement.
- The combined companies plan to streamline access to acute, chronic and preventive care through PlushCare's virtual settings and Accolade's platform supporting in-person consultation. Adding a primary care team through the deal will help Accolade cut employer costs and improve outcomes, it said.
- Accolade will offer virtual primary care and mental health consultations directly to members as a result of the acquisition, according to the statement.
The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred growing acceptance of virtual care, and employers are increasingly welcoming of extending the option to their workforce.
An August survey from the nonprofit Business Group on Health found 80% of respondents said they believe telehealth will play a significant role in how care is delivered in the future, and more than half said they will offer more virtual care to employees this year.
The deal with PlushCare is the second this year for Accolade, which went public last year, after it scooped up another virtual care company, 2nd.MD, in a similar $460 million deal that closed in March.
The health benefits platform uses member insights, an engagement platform, care team advocacy and navigation tools in an effort to help employers cut costs while improving outcomes, according to the company.
Adding PlushCare will expand Accolade's market nearly five-fold. It will invest in integrating the companies, extending PlushCare's offerings into Accolade's traditional enterprise customer base while continuing to grow PlushCare's core consumer membership, it said.
"The acquisition is expected to be accretive to Accolade's growth rate and will enable new revenue opportunities as the healthcare ecosystem moves toward value-driven, patient-centric models," the company said in a release.
While the COVID-19 crisis continues to shake up the healthcare space, digital health companies saw a record first quarter with $6.7 billion in investment, according to an April report from Rock Health. Rock Health said that was driven by investments in providers of on-demand healthcare services, such as the $500 million committed to Ro, and population health management startups, such as Color.