RealTime IT News

WebMD to Acquire ViPS

In a move aimed at beefing up its product offerings to large health care organizations, WebMD Corp. plans to shell out $160 million in cash to acquire software firm ViPS, Inc.

WebMD runs a Web-based information portal alongside a business that hawks services to connect physicians, hospitals, pharmacies and insurance providers. The ViPS deal would add a key presence in the government health care sector.

ViPS provides software applications to handle systems support, claims processing and fraud prevention. The company's Government Solutions Group provides technology services to agencies like the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) and commercial health care payers.

With the acquisition, WebMD also get to market ViPS' Health Payer Solutions Group, a unit that develops data warehouses and tools for disease management, predictive modeling, provider performance, healthcare fraud detection and financial management.

The deal also includes a consulting element, where ViPS personnel provide outsourcing services to help commercial customers monitor clinical and financial results to predict risk and determine the most effective treatments.

WebMD counts Microsoft , Intel and America Online among its business partners. In 1999, the company inked a $5.5 billion merger with Healtheon.