Emdeon defends itself in troubled waters

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Emdeon (formerly WebMD) has responded to a lengthy and negative investigatory piece The Associated Press recently ran about the company. The company waved off each allegation as being largely misperceptions of time and circumstance.

The gist of the AP story: Despite solid stocks and a reputation as being a strong bet in consumer health market, the company is dogged by a number of potential problems. The Justice Department continues to investigate the company regarding accounting improprieties at Medical Manager, a software vendor which was acquired by then WebMD in 2000. Though this was hardly a news story the AP delved into it a great deal. Additionally, the AP piece looked at a transaction of monies from Chairman Martin Wygod to Emdeon that some experts describe as unusual. Overall, the AP quoted the company's prospectus which states that the U.S. Attorney's Office "has been investigating all levels of WebMD's parent company's management."

In an effort to fight back, Emdean has issued a release describing what it believes are "misperceptions."
   
"Emdeon believes the Department of Justice investigation referenced in the AP article relates only to the business of Medical Manager Health Systems (an Emdeon subsidiary now known as Emdeon Practice Services that was merged with a predecessor to Emdeon in 1999) and does not relate to the other businesses of Emdeon, including WebMD Health," according to the company's statement. The comments go on to note that none of the senior management of either company at that time currently works in the same capacity now.
   
As to the payment from Chairman Wygod, Emdeon describes the transaction as
"the reimbursement to Emdeon for the personal portion of certain travel expenses and the personal use of certain of Emdeon's staff and operating facilities," according to the statement.