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Joel Berg for MedCity NewsJanuary 17, 2020

R1 RCM pays $190M for scheduling software firm

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Patient scheduling is increasingly seen as a key part of revenue cycle management. It also can help create a more welcoming "digital front door" that improves access to care and the overall patient experience.

If you’re not getting patients in the door, you’re not getting revenue.

 

That was part of the logic prompting revenue-cycle management firm R1 RCM Inc. to spend $190 million to buy SCI Solutions Inc., a Seattle-based provider of scheduling and patient-access software.

 

“Scheduling is the very first process within the broader revenue-cycle process,” said Joe Polaris, senior vice president of product and technology for Chicago-based R1, in a phone interview.

 

The two companies have been partnering for several years, with R1 making SCI’s products available to a portion of its healthcare clients, Polaris said. The SCI products have made scheduling more efficient and convenient for patients and providers, he added.

 

“SCI is able to provide exceptional quality scheduling across a broad variety of settings of care,” Polaris said. The company’s platform also allows patients to search for physicians and complete onboarding.

 

The deal, announced on Monday is expected to close in the second quarter of 2020. R1 plans to fund the purchase with a combination of cash from its balance sheet and debt. R1, which has  more than 19,000 employees, will then work to introduce SCI products across its customer base. SCI has about 125 employees.

 

SCI’s products are currently in use at roughly 1,200 care sites representing $225 billion in potential net patient revenue, according to a news release from R1.

 

“With SCI’s capabilities integrated into our leading revenue cycle solution, we believe that R1 offers our customers the broadest and deepest tech-enabled patient intake solution available,” R1 president and CEO Joe Flanagan said in a statement.

R1 is not the only firm in revenue cycle management attracted to opportunities in scheduling technology and the broader arena known as the “digital front door” of healthcare.

 

Last year, Experian Health, an arm of the credit reporting company, bought scheduling technology startup MyDirectHealth. Louisville, Kentucky-based Waystar, meanwhile, has been adding other patient-related services to its revenue cycle management platform.

 

SCI also has been active on the M&A side. Before announcing the deal with R1 RCM, SCI said it bought Tonic Health, a tech platform that patients can use to complete intake forms, check in for appointments and make payments. Tonic’s customers include Emory Healthcare, New York-Presbyterian and Universal Health Services, according to a press release from SCI.

 

R1, meanwhile, began partnering this year with Rush University System for Health in Chicago to launch an innovation lab focused on value-based care, advanced analytics and workforce development. The two also will be working to sharpen revenue-cycle management, according to a press release from R1.

 

“As we searched for a partner to help us continue to optimize revenue cycle operations and improve the patient financial experience, R1 emerged as the right choice,” John Mordach, CFO and senior vice president for finance at Rush University System for Health and Rush University Medical Center, said in a statement.

 

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