Innovaccer Acquires Pharmacy Quality Solutions

It’s already shaping up to be a big year for Innovaccer, which just announced its second acquisition in three months after picking up pharmacy-payor performance company Pharmacy Quality Solutions (PQS).

PQS connects payors and providers to standardized tracking of medication quality measures, plus value-based reimbursement programs focused on adherence, outcomes, and safety.

  • The PQS platform is designed to optimize medication management for Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial populations, covering 95% of all community pharmacies, the top 10 pharmacy chains by store count, and over 60 million lives.
  • The acquisition not only accelerates Innovaccer’s VBC roadmap, but also adds a treasure trove of pharmacy data to Innovaccer’s existing ecosystem of payors and providers – not to mention the potential to cross-promote services to complementary payors and pharmacies.

The talk on the show floor at HIMSS was the we could see as many as four more acquisitions from Innovaccer before the end of the year, targeting data-oriented teams that can propel Innovaccer’s three-pronged forward strategy:

  • Value – transitioning from fee-for-service to value-based care (Health Cloud and PQS)
  • Productivity – shifting from burnout to AI-driven productivity (upcoming AI Copilot)
  • Experience – moving from encounter-based care to experience-driven care (Cured acquisition)

While last year failed to produce a much-anticipated spike in M&A fueled by attractive valuations, startups’ increasingly depleted war chests have set up the current market to be even more favorable for potential acquirers.

  • Startups working with enterprise customers could start leaning toward mutually beneficial acquisitions from their partners, which helps founders find a path forward while allowing enterprises to sustain their work with valuable clients. 
  • Others like Innovaccer will be looking to M&A to bolt-on complementary features or capture market share in adjacent categories. While running out of runway might not guarantee more M&A activity, it certainly tips the scales in that direction.

The Takeaway

Innovaccer is quickly delivering on its ecosystem approach to integrating payors, providers, and pharmacies through a connected AI-enabled data infrastructure. Although an acquisition’s success is determined as much by the hard work put in post-announcement as it is by the target, Innovaccer so-far appears to have its playbook dialed.

Innovaccer Acquires Marketing and CRM Platform Cured

Innovaccer shook things up last week by making its first-ever acquisition, a move that positions healthcare marketing and CRM platform Cured as a cornerstone of its patient experience roadmap.

Although Cured’s platform might initially seem like an odd fit for Innovaccer’s portfolio of data analytics and population health solutions, the acquisition quickly starts to make sense in the context of Innovaccer’s three-pronged forward strategy:

  • Value – transitioning from fee-for-service to value-based care (the Health Cloud and Data Activation Platform)
  • Productivity – shifting from burnout to AI-driven productivity (the recently debuted Sara AI suite)
  • Experience – moving from encounter-based care to experience-driven care (where Cured comes in)

Cured leverages data and AI to help healthcare organizations boost their patient experience campaigns, not unlike the data-first approach that Innovaccer takes to the provider space.

  • Cured’s marketing and CRM platform engages patients throughout their care journey to build relationships, improve outcomes, and generate revenue – three areas where billing-focused EHR systems and bolt-on CRM platforms notoriously fall short.
  • It maintains a library of 80+ healthcare-specific engagement journeys and propensity models, which are poised to gain plenty more horsepower when combined with Innovaccer’s unified patient data platform and contact center.

As a cherry on top, Cured is adding over 20 health system and digital health clients – including Sutter Health, UCHealth, and VCU Health – to Innovaccer’s current roster of ~95 customers.

  • Cured’s three co-founders will also assume leadership roles within Innovaccer to help drive a CRM strategy that now revolves around delivering a Healthcare Experience Platform (HXP) as much as a customer relationship management solution.
  • While time will tell how different an HXP looks from a CRM, marrying Innovaccer’s 360 degree view of clinical, claims, and patient behavior data with Cured’s marketing and engagement prowess sounds like a solid way to unlock some powerful capabilities.

The Takeaway

Healthcare organizations have long struggled with either CRMs layered on top of EHRs built for other purposes, or industry-agnostic CRMs that need to be customized to fit their specific needs. By joining forces with Cured, Innovaccer is looking to combine its data intelligence and contact center capabilities with a marketing and engagement force that’s strong enough to overcome that struggle through a new type of Health Experience Platform.

Healthcare’s Data Readiness Crisis

Although “digital transformation” probably tops the list of commonly used healthcare buzzwords, a new report conducted by Morning Consult and commissioned by Innovaccer paints a clear picture of why the term has become so popular, as well as the barriers standing in its way.

The “Healthcare’s Data Readiness Crisis: Triage vs. Transformation” report is based on survey results from a blue ribbon panel of 75 US health system executives, which explored their current views with respect to digital transformation.

Among the highlights of the survey was the fact that 95% of respondents are focused on digital transformation, making it the number one imperative for the rest of the decade.

  • 83% are aiming to have their organizations achieve full digital transformation in under five years, which might as well be a fraction of a second in healthcare time.
  • To accomplish this, healthcare IT leaders are prioritizing solutions that can make a measurable difference in the near-term, such as population health (41%), hiring talent (40%), and competitive analysis (40%).

When asked about the obstacles that are stifling innovation, interoperability ranked as the leading technical challenge (41%), surpassing both implementation (25%) and data quality (23%).

  • 42% said their organizations’ data is highly fragmented and siloed, and 58% didn’t believe that their EHR vendor could support their enterprise data strategy.
  • Despite these hurdles, only 5% of executives are currently investing in data activation platforms that facilitate interoperability across all of their systems. 

Industry Impact

Out of all the takeaways from the report, the disconnect between healthcare’s high aspirations for digital transformation and the lack of data readiness that’s needed to support it is likely the biggest.

Across the industry, data and the insights it can reveal are trapped in disconnected siloes within each institution, yet many organizations are still tackling data optimization as a one-off project vs. a foundational capability. This results in short-term fixes to long-term problems and postpones any sort of true digital transformation.

As a result, only the health systems that crack the code on data readiness will have the foundation needed to sustain accelerated transformation over the long haul, which should create a durable competitive advantage over slower organizations while pressuring others to follow suit.

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