athenahealth is set to acquire Epocrates, the developer of point of care medical applications, according to an annoucement by Watertown-based company. The deal, which is priced at $11.75 per share (a 22 percent premium over the closing price per share posted Jan. 4 on NASDAQ) totaling close to $293 million in when all is said and done, is still pending approval of Epocrates shareholders and other conditions before ultimately closing as early as the second quarter of the year.
The acquisition will expand athenahealth’s consumer base by as many as 330,000 physicians who are already using the Epocrates application, which the company’s executive leadership is heralding as a significant step forward in terms of its mobile platform by improving access to information as well as clinical workflows.
“First, we love their app; athenahealth is strong in mobile development, with 33% of Clinicals clients using their iPhone at least once a week—but Epocrates is masterful,” writes Bush on the athenahealth blog. “As the first health care app in the Apple store, Epocrates was downloaded on iPhones at a rate of 2,230 downloads per day. Recently, they added their iPad app and are already at 86,000 downloads. Second, we are proud of our own client service, but we have been humbled by how users tout Epocrates.”
For Bush and company, Epocrates represents a solution to their search for a lite application that can be integrated swiftly into its cloud-based EHR and practice management software. According to Bush, the close of the deal would immediately lead to getting doctors currently using Epocrates onto its care coordination solutions, athenaCoordinator, with those opting in as receivers allowed a sample of athenaClinicals and the ability to upgrade.
“Our research suggests that it will take very little work for us to deploy a simplified version of athenaClinicals that does not include pay for performance program management (i.e., meaningful use and others) or document services,” adds Bush, “Of course, our fondest wish is that those who try will want to buy more.”
During his presentation at the 31st Annual J. P. Morgan Healthcare Conference today at 2:30PM Pacific Time/5:30PM Eastern Time, Bush will provide the rationale behind the decision to acquire Epocrates. Audio from the presentation will be available live as well as available for replay through the company’s investors section.