As published in Forbes, April 30, 2018
By Bruce Japsen
Companies like American Well, Teladoc and MDLive are growing rapidly, providing telemedicine services to health plans, employers and physicians.
American Well, a national provider of telehealth services, said it has agreed to buy Avizia , which provides virtual access to doctors inside of hospitals and health systems across the country.
The deal, announced at the American Telemedicine Association meeting in Chicago, will help American Well move from treating routine maladies like pink eye and conditions that help patients avoid a doctor’s office visit to more tertiary services, offering a menu of services from partner physicians and hospitals around the world. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but the privately held companies said it should close late in the second quarter of this year.
The companies said the Avizia acquisition will “bring American Well a comprehensive acute care capability , including the best in class hospital-based cart lineup and custom software workflows for more than 40 clinical specialties, including telestroke and tele-behavioral health.”
American Well’s proposed acquisition comes as telehealth services are poised to take off in coming years thanks to the approval this year by Congress of a federal budget that includes expanded access to virtual doctor visits for Americans covered by private Medicare Advantage plans. It could be a huge boon to American Well and rivals like MDLive and Teladoc and an array of startups getting into the business of offering access to physicians and patients via smart phone, tablet or computer. Employers and private insurers like UnitedHealth Group, Anthem and Cigna are already embracing the trend as a way to make healthcare more convenient and avoid costly and unnecessary trips to the emergency room or a more expensive physician’s office.
By adding Avizia, American Well hopes to set itself apart from rivals. American Well said its telehealth options will be further “enhanced” for its clients that include health systems, health insurers, allowing them to “choose one comprehensive single platform solution.”
“American Well helps providers treat patients who are not in the room,” Dr. Ido Schoenberg, chairman and CEO of American Well. “We do that by effectively connecting the four key players in the ecosystem: consumers, providers, payers and innovators. “We share Avizia’s passion and relentless commitment to enabling better care anywhere.”
Avizia’s telehealth platform brings doctors from around the world inside hospitals for consultations with more than “1,300 hospital deployments.” “The company has a significant global presence in over 38 countries, with strong clinical use cases across behavioral health, chronic care, stroke, pediatrics and urgent care at over 70 health systems,” Avizia and American Well said in their joint statement.