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