Accolade, a start-up in the Philly suburbs that helps manage health care for big employers, has acquired a California firm with data on 13 billion medical claims coming from 250 million patients, the company said Thursday.
The data will be used by Accolade personal health-care assistants to help covered employees and family members make better choices on which doctors and medical facilities to use for health care, Accolade said.
Umair Khan, an Accolade vice president, said Wednesday that Accolade had acquired MD Insider Inc., based in Santa Monica, in mid-July, and that it would be used as a new product offering at Accolade, which employs about 1,000. About 500 employees of those employees are based in Plymouth Meeting.
MD Insider data does not identify the patients, but only the doctors, medical facilities, and procedures, Khan said. Its machine learning platform scours large data sets for actionable, personalized information. Terms were not disclosed.
Accolade’s deal comes as health-care venture-backed start-up firms are looking to go public with stock offerings. This year, Livongo Health Inc., of Mountain View, Calif., and Health Catalyst Inc., of Salt Lake City, both went public, and their shares are now worth $4 billion and $1.6 billion, respectively.
Accolade is a venture capital-backed company, funded with $200 million — some of it from high-profile Silicon Valley tech funders — that seeks to cut corporate health-care costs. Accolade helps employees navigate the nation’s complex health-care maze of second opinions, deductibles, urgent care vs. ER visits, specialists, prescription drugs, and post-hospitalization care.
The Accolade phone number is included on health-care cards given to employees by companies such as Comcast and Lowe’s, and employees are encouraged to call the number in a health emergency, or just to chat about options or medications. Accolade says its health assistants are not there to counsel against expensive health-care procedures, but to help those sick get well as quickly and affordably as possible.
Comcast Ventures, part of the broadband and entertainment conglomerate, has financially backed Accolade, and Comcast’s human resources department uses its services.