McKesson buys RelayHealth, launches new personal health system group

McKesson Corp. on Monday announced the acquisition of RelayHealth Corporation, a provider of online physician-patient communication services. The acquisition of RelayHealth furthers McKesson’s goal to expand its growth in the personal health management space, the company said. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Simultaneously, McKesson announced a new Personal Health Solutions group within its Provider Technologies segment. Personal Health Solutions will serve the growing market for interactive technologies that facilitate communications between patients and healthcare providers, personal health records, healthcare financial management systems and other tools — all through secure electronic connections.

In addition to RelayHealth, McKesson's personal health systems include in-home patient monitoring, web portal technology, triage software and personal emergency response systems. The full suite will include products and services from recently acquired HealthCom Partners, LLC, which provides patient billing solutions designed to simplify and enhance financial interactions between healthcare providers and their patients.

"Changes in healthcare insurance models and unmet needs in chronic condition management have placed a greater burden than ever on consumers and providers," said John Hammergren, McKesson chairman and CEO. "Consumers are expected, and want, to play a more active role in decisions related to their health. However, until now many of the tools to equip them have simply been unavailable. McKesson will become the standard-bearer in solutions that empower consumers, patients and their providers to be active players in a safer, more convenient and more connected system of care."

Founded in 1999, RelayHealth pioneered the webVisit, a secure, insurer-reimbursed online consultation between physicians and patients. Today, RelayHealth's network includes more than 18,000 health professionals, 600,000 patients and over a dozen reimbursing health plans, including many of the largest national and regional insurers in the United States.