Last year the Essence Group raised $70 million in funding from investors that included Passport Capital, Camden Partners and Blue Cross Blue Shield Venture Partners. Essence is an umbrella organization, founded by venture capitalist John Doerr, that includes three healthcare companies: Essence Healthcareoffers people on Medicare a health plan that focuses on wellness, care coordination and personal service in six states; ClearPractice offers electronic health records; Lumeris is a supplier of analytic software that tracks procedures and patient results for insurers and physicians.
This week it seems Essence found a way to spend some of the millions it raised last year. Through its subsidiary, Lumeris, Essence teamed up with three other health plans, Highmark, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, and Independence Blue Cross, to acquire provider and insurance real-time transactions network provider NaviNet for an undisclosed price. The deal should be final within 30 days, according to the companies.
In 2010 NaviNet moved away from the desktop extended its offering into the exam room by acquiring mobile-enabled e-prescribing company Prematics. At the time of the acquisition Prematics only had 4,000 physician users and its service was only available for iOS devices and Windows Mobile devices. In 2010 NaviNet claimed that about 70 percent of US physicians plus hundreds of thousands of clinicians and other healthcare professionals in the US used NaviNet to access real-time clinical information from health plans, the company stated at the time.
Here’s how NaviNet described its offering after the Prematics acquisition: “As a result, when physicians are in the exam room prescribing medications via handheld device, they can also use the device to receive information about generic or alternative drugs; submit real-time authorizations; and view benefits information in real time to determine patient financial responsibility,” according to the company’s 2010 press release.
Now that NaviNet is set to become a bundled offering with Lumeris’ accountable care organization platform, the companies expect to power the ACOs offered by health plans across the US: “All over the nation, health plans, including Highmark, Horizon, and IBC, are developing new value-based payment models that reward physicians for highly coordinated, high-quality accountable care. The integration of NaviNet and Lumeris’ capabilities would allow plans to develop next generation accountable care delivery systems to contain costs and improve quality, while continuing to handle administrative transactions easily and cost-effectively,” according to the press release this week.
One of the other Essence Group subsidiaries, ClearPractice, offers an EHR called Nimble that was specifically developed for Apple iPad users. ClearPractice offers Eden, a cloud-based EHR offering that works across Apple iOS devices and Mac computers — iPhones, iPads, MacBooks and Apple PCs.