Intuit to buy health care firm Medfusion

Quicken-maker will pay $91 million to acquire Medfusion, which offers Web-based services for things like making appointments and paying bills.

Best known for its Quicken software, Intuit is moving further into the health care market through a new acquisition.

Intuit announced Tuesday that it will pay $91 million in cash to buy Medfusion, a privately-held company that sells online services to let patients and doctors' offices interact with each other electronically.

Based in Cary, N.C., MedFusion's services fill a niche in the area of patient-to-provider communications, according to the company. Its online services let patients set up appointments, fill out forms, pay bills, refill prescriptions, and receive lab results electronically. People can contact office staff or ask the doctor a question through a secure messaging system. Medfusion also offers a Web site generator tool that allows medical offices to create and maintain their own personalized Web sites.

Intuit, which already has a foot in the health care door through Quicken Health , said it will combine its own expertise in designing software for small businesses with Medfusion's bill and payment services. As a result, Intuit hopes to make it easier for patients to make sense of their medical bills and for doctors' offices to get paid quicker. The company said it's also looking to help patients more easily access their own personal health information and keep better track of their medical expenses.

Intuit added that giving patients quick access to their medical records is one of the requirements for doctors to receive a $44,000 payment funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus bill .

"This transaction expands our software as a service offerings with a solution currently used by more than 30,000 health care providers, the vast majority of whom are essentially small businesses," Brad Smith, Intuit president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. "The combination of Medfusion's industry-leading patient-provider communication solutions and Intuit's expertise in creating innovative solutions that improve the financial lives of small businesses and consumers, will help us create new solutions that make the clinical, administrative, and financial side of health care easier for everyone."

After the deal is done, Medfusion's founder and CEO, Stephen Malik, will become a senior vice president and general manager reporting directly to Smith. Malik will continue to run Medfusion as a business unit and also manage Intuit's health care operation from Medfusion's headquarters in North Carolina.

Intuit expects to finalize the acquisition during the fourth quarter of its 2010 fiscal year, which ends July 31.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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