WebMD and Mercury Healthcare: What the Acquisition Means for Physician Strategies
WebMD Provider Services seeks to align physician and consumer strategies holistically, using data and analytics to guide the journey from both sides.
// By Jane Weber Brubaker //
When WebMD announced its acquisition of Mercury Healthcare in June 2022, the press release focused on patient engagement solutions. The headline reads “WebMD Health Corp. Acquires Mercury Healthcare, Building on Leadership in Patient Engagement Solutions.”
But we learned that WebMD’s strategic vision is broader, also encompassing provider engagement. In a video explaining the vision, Ann Bilyew, general manager and senior vice president of WebMD Provider Services, states that physician referral management “is similar to the patient journey in that it is about understanding each individual physician’s unique preferences and learning how to reach them in the key moments of care.”
WebMD’s earlier acquisitions of Medscape (2001), the leading online content site for providers, and PulsePoint (2021), a programmatic advertising solution, enable the company to reach almost every physician in the U.S.
Another important piece of the puzzle is access to claims data. Jeff Herman, senior vice president of product management at Mercury Healthcare, says, “Claims data is incredibly expensive. Prior to WebMD acquiring us, we had decided to walk away from that despite our deep understanding of the space. WebMD come[s] to the table with an incredibly robust claims data set that is already paid for.”
Herman believes WebMD’s combination of assets and capabilities is unique. “We are a solution that can take a holistic approach to the journey, whether it be the patient, the consumer, or the provider,” he says.
With the acquisition six months old as of this writing, we wanted to know more about WedMD’s plans and roadmap, with a focus on provider engagement. Read on to learn what existing and prospective clients can expect.