McKesson acquires billing system provider, sells prescription business

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McKesson has added to its porfolio with the acquisition of HealthCom Partners LLC, a provider of patient billing systems designed to provide a simplified billing experience via online self-service and consolidated billing on a single statement. The company separately announced yesterday the divestiture of its Automated Prescription Systems (APS) business unit to Parata Systems.

McKesson said it made the move to buy HealthCom to strengthen its offerings in revenue cycle management in hospitals and physician offices, and to address the common problems of confusing and overly complicated patient billings.

McKesson's financial management applications and services are designed to accelerate cash flow, optimize resources and measure key performance indicators. These solutions integrate financial and clinical data from throughout the healthcare system to capture, validate and process patient data before, during, and after the delivery of patient care.

HealthCom's Patient Compass system enables patients to access current financial account information via their provider's web site, receive e-mail notifications when insurance payments are received, change insurance information, pay multiple accounts all at once and even turn off paper bills from mailing.

As for the ASP business unit, pharmacy robotics company Parata Systems has acquired substantially all of the assets but has also entered into a long-term strategic alliance under which McKesson will become the sole third-party distributor for all Parata products in North America and become a significant minority investor in Parata. McKesson High Volume Solutions (HVS) and McKesson Pharmacy Systems (MPS) are excluded from this transaction. The transaction is expected to close in Q4 2006.

The pharmacy automation products included in this agreement are designed to improve the safety, accuracy and efficiency of the prescription process, ranging from low volume, semi-automated systems, to mid volume counting technologies, to high volume, fully automated robotic systems, the companies said.

As part of the alliance, McKesson's High Volume Solutions division will obtain exclusive rights to all of Parata's products to serve this growing segment of the market.

McKesson also will fill two of five seats on Parata's Board of Managers.