Allscripts to buy A4 Health Systems

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Clinical information systems provider Allscripts today announced an agreement to acquire A4 Health Systems, a provider of practice management and electronic health record (EHR) systems for small and mid-sized physician groups. The transaction will total approximately $272 million in cash and stock.

Per the agreement, Allscripts existing alliance with IDX, now part of GE Healthcare, will continue through the five years remaining under the original agreement, supporting the ongoing integration and compatibility of the Allscripts and IDX products. Also, GE will continue to offer Allscripts TouchWorks EHR within the IDX client base, in addition to its own Centricity Ambulatory EMR. The agreement also allows Allscripts to enter the practice management systems (PMS) market and to offer an integrated practice management and EHR solution. Depending on the needs and size of the practice, Allscripts will offer the integrated A4 practice management/electronic health record system, its TouchWorks EHR in combination with the A4 practice management system, or, for IDX practice management clients, TouchWorks EHR integrated with IDX Groupcast or Flowcast products, according to the release.

"Our vision is to make our products indispensable to all physicians, from independent practitioners to the largest physician practice groups, academic medical centers and specialty groups, and today we are taking two significant strategic steps towards that goal," said Glen Tullman, CEO, Allscripts. "The new GE/IDX agreement preserves the best parts of our long-term strategic alliance, while simultaneously opening up significant new opportunities in the $10 billion physician practice market," Tullman said.

A4, which is privately held, has a customer base of more than 1,600 healthcare organizations nationally. The company is headquartered in Cary, N.C. and employs more than 400 people nationwide.