Ingenix buying spree continues with Axolotl

Acquisition will further enable health information to be shared effectively

Health information technology and services provider Ingenix Inc. announced this week that it is buying health information exchange services provider Axolotl Corp., of San Jose, Calif. Terms of the deal — Ingenix’s third in the past month — were not disclosed.

“HIEs are bringing us closer to the point where all the health care professionals patients select to oversee their care can connect to share information and optimize outcomes,” said Andy Slavitt, chief executive officer of Ingenix.

Ingenix, a UnitedHealth Group subsidiary based in Eden Prairie, Minn., is one of the largest health care information companies in the United States, with estimated annual revenue of $1.8 billion, according to Hoover’s Inc.

The acquisition will further enable health information to be shared effectively and securely for the benefit of patients and health care professionals, Ingenix officials said in a written statement.

Recent economic stimulus funding has put greater national attention and resources behind developing HIEs, officials said. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provides $783 million in near-term direct funding for the implementation of statewide and community HIEs and $36.5 billion in incentives for hospitals and physicians to promote implementation and use of interoperable electronic health record (EHR) systems.

Both Ingenix and Axolotl target sales to state governments to ensure that they can exchange electronic health information. Just last week, Ingenix announced a new version of its flagship CareTracker practice management and EHR system for federally qualified health centers to demonstrate “meaningful use” of the technology, a critical element in applying for any of the $36.5 billion in federal EHR incentive money.

Also last week, Axolotl released Express, a new component in its HIE Elysium suite, to enable hospital-to-physician and physician-to-physician connectivity for sending computable clinical data to any ambulatory electronic medical record.

“Axolotl’s HIE solutions also support [Recovery Act] interoperability standards and assist hospitals and physicians in meeting 'meaningful use' requirements across a variety of health information and electronic health record systems,” Ingenix officials said in the statement.

The Aug. 16 buy is the fifth this year for Ingenix. The others were:

  • Executive Health Resources (Aug. 4), a provider of medical necessity compliance and physician medical management solutions for hospitals.
  • Picis Inc. (July 22), a provider of hospital health information management solutions that combine clinical, financial and administrative data to facilitate information exchange among clinicians and hospital managers.
  • ChinaGate (May 19), a contract research organization in Shanghai that provides product-development regulatory services for pharmaceutical, medical device and biotechnology companies looking to enter and access the Chinese market.
  • QualityMetric Inc. (March 24), a developer of surveys used in health care effectiveness measurement, including patient-reported outcomes.

The Axolotl management team will remain in place and will lead Ingenix’s efforts in health care community connectivity.

About the Author

Sami Lais is a special contributor to Washington Technology.

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