Netsmart has announced a definitive agreement to buy Change Healthcare’s home care and hospice units.
The company will integrate Change Healthcare’s Homecare Advisor and Hospice Advisor with Netsmart’s CareFabric, which focuses on health information exchange, analytics, referral management and mobility programs.
In addition, Change Healthcare announced its Intelligent Healthcare Network is integrating with Doctor on Demand’s patient geolocation technology. The initiative will let physicians order lab work based on a patient’s location.
Netsmart CEO Mike Valentine said the company entered the post-acute space two years ago, betting that home care and hospice providers can work within value-based care models.
Netsmart said its new purchase will help it further progress with post-acute technology and services.
The company’s network connects post-acute care and human services provider networks with their health system and primary care referral partners. That includes more than 1 million connections within the network, more than 1,300 connected labs and more than 10 million clinical transactions per year.
Netsmart is also looking at other partnering opportunities with Change Healthcare. It selected Change Healthcare’s lab connectivity as its preferred solution of lab orders and results distribution.
The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of this year.
Meanwhile, Change Healthcare said its work with Doctors on Demand, a telemedicine provider, will allow patients to choose which lab to use for physician-ordered tests. The companies believe patients will be able to compare lab services and can make decisions based on cost and location.
In announcing the integration, Change said telemedicine patients don’t have much control over scheduling or cost for lab work. A provider may even tell them to go to an out-of-network facility, which costs patients more.
When testing is complete, the clinician can then send the results directly to the patient — all through the Doctor On Demand application.
The integration is another example of companies providing consumer-based services through technology in hopes of engaging patients to think about the care services they receive. It's no secret healthcare costs are a growing concern in the U.S.
Retail-based principles, such as cost comparison and convenience, are inching into the healthcare system. In theory, this allows companies to generate positive sentiments from patients who use such products and want to continue their use. It can help patients feel in control of their healthcare experience, as they can compare prices and find a location that works for them.
The shift to these retail-centric products is still nascent, but if Change and Doctor on Demand's new offering is any clue, more such announcements from health technology companies should be coming to pair complementary services in hope to gain more market recognition among patients.