Yesterday, Intuit announced its intent to acquire HIT vendor, Medfusion, for roughly $91M. This is an interesting and savvy move by Intuit. Interesting in that Intuit is signaling an intent to more directly enter the small physician market. Chilmark also sees this as a savvy move as this acquisition gives Intuit a relatively inexpensive point of access to some 30,000+ physicians that Medfusion currently serves. This provides Intuit an opportunity to sell its financial accounting solutions (Quickbooks) to this market, but we do not beleive this is the real intent of this acquisition.
The real intent is more longer-term and likely more lucrative for Intuit: The ability to leverage the Medfusion acquisition to embed the relatively new Quicken Health solution right into a physician’s Medfusion-based website. As Chilmark has stated many times before, consumers use of HIT will first revolve around specific transactional processes such as appointment scheduling, online Rx refill requests, and paying bills. Having seen a demo of Quicken Health, Chilmark is quite impressed with its ease-of-use and rich functionality. This is truly a consumer-focused product. Providing physician practices an ability to embed Quicken Health into their existing Medfusion website looks pretty sweet from this vantage point and will ultimately put pressure on other physician website vendors.
(Note: last year Medfusion made an acquisition of its own, acquiring the slowly fading PHR vendor Medem for an undisclosed sum.)