Matthew Holt

Ingenix buys Axolotl (with minor Update)

Ingenix, the arms dealer that’s been supplying all sides in the health care information war for the past decade or so, built itself up by buying lots of little companies in the data analytics space. Now it’s repeating the effort in the Health Information tools space. First it bought Caretracker (actually the company may have had a different name when it bought it, but that’s the name now). It’s a Web-based EMR for smaller practices (a sector with lots of Federal dollars attached). Then it bought Picis, a company that offers software that runs ORs, EDs and other high acuity inpatient sites (another recipient of lots of Medicare dollars).

Today it bought Axolotl, one of the vendors that’s biggest in the emerging (and constantly confusing) Health Information Exchange marketplace. Yet another place that lots of Federal dollars via ONC are going.

You’re probably noticing a pattern by now…

Ingenix itself of course is owned by United Health Group, although its CEO Andy Slavitt will be at pains to tell you that United also just happens to own a health insurer or two, and that Ingenix is not the subsidiary of a health insurer. Of course, Congress doesn’t always agree…

Normally I’d do lots of in-depth analysis about this story, but I’m for now just rushing to for once beat HIStalk to the punch!

UPDATE: Inga at HISTalk won’t truck with my “I beat her” comment and notes that she posted the following tweet before me (even if I got my post up on THCB before her or MrHISTalk posted on HISTalk!)

ngaHIStalk1:09pm via Facebook

Rumor from two good sources: Ingenix/UnitedHealth Group will announce its acquisition of Axolotl after the market…http://fb.me/ECtaUXRc
boltyboy2:56pm via TweetDeck

Ingenix (UHG) getting even more expansive in HIT, buys HIE vendor Axolotl

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James McGauley MDGlenn KeetCurtis Page MDJanice McCallum Recent comment authors
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James McGauley MD
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James McGauley MD

There is no way that patient and physician data will be safe, secure, and private in an Axolotl/Ingenix/United Health Group system!

Glenn Keet
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Glenn Keet

I think it is worth pointing out that there were numerous suitors for Axolotl, and the executive team at Axolotl chose Ingenix as our new owners after much diligence. A good part of that diligence was ensuring that Ingenix maintains operational independence from UnitedHealth Group and its subsidiaries, employing infrastructure, technology, policies and procedures to ensure that data privacy and security are protected. Their entire business depends upon their ability to serve clients across all segments of the health care industry. Moreover, Axolotl will maintain independence from Ingenix. Our leadership remains exactly the same, and we will continue to run… Read more »

Curtis Page MD
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Curtis Page MD

This acquisition saddened me. We were ready to go with Axolotl and now I am not sure. I don’t know if I want a health insurance company accessing Master Patient Index or being able to access all of the protected information about doctor’s practices. Maybe I am being paranoid, but I still don’t like the idea. Didn’t like the idea of an insurance company owning a billing company either. Seems like a huge conflict of interest. Like doctors owning surgical centers or hospitals.

Janice McCallum
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Don’t forget that Ingenix just bought Executive Health Resources for $1.5B in August, too. See: http://www.unitedhealthgroup.com/newsroom/news.aspx?id=5e08dd4b-434f-4174-b81f-510e5a40c182