MediConnect goes consumer by buying PassportMD

Chilmark Research has already given a thumbs-up to the deal on its blog.
Written by Dana Blankenhorn, Inactive

MediConnect, a Utah-based company that made its money digitizing health records for insurers, lawyers and medical practices, is getting into the Personal Health Record (PHR) business, buying PassportMD.

The PassportMD web site has already been changed to match MediConnect's in look-and-feel. PassportMD was based in Florida but is moving its people to Utah, the company said.

CEO Amy Rees Anderson discussed the deal with ZDNet Healthcare. (Picture from MediConnect.)

PassportMD came to Anderson's attention when former ABC Good Morning America host Joan Lunden began fronting the company last year. "We were making a make vs. buy decision, and it was so easy, so intuitive."

ZDNet Healthcare wrote about PassportMD in 2008, when it was selected as one of four PHR vendors in a Medicare test of PHRs, alongside Google Health, HealthTrio, and NoMoreClipboard.

Chilmark Research has already given a thumbs-up to the deal on its blog, noting this may let MediConnect offer insurers a solution for providing their members with a PHR populated with claims data. Consumers distrust insurers, but Chilmark suggests MediConnect could work with employers instead.

Claims data is what MediConnect is really all about. "Say you're trying a mass tort. To try it you need the medical damages to prove damages. Or you may need them for defense."

MediConnect started working with life insurers, then went into legal, and then into health insurance. But until now it has been a strictly business-to-business operation. It now has one of the largest databases of digitized medical records around.

Chilmark questions how the PHR market can grow, but adds that MediConnect has the cash flow to wait on a solution. Anderson said the deal will also let her work with doctors to give patients access to their medical records, through PassportMD.

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