The Wellness Network acquires Milner-Fenwick to grow in-hospital TV and digital media network

By Heather Mack

The Wellness Network, a Pewaukee, Wisconsin-based television and digital media network for hospitals, has acquired patient education video publisher Milner-Fenwick. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Wellness Network is among the largest in-hospital education networks in the country, comprising 2,300 hospitals and 300,000 screens (TV, tablet), and they collaborate with a number of organizations including the American Heart Association, the American Association of Diabetes Educators, and the American College of Physicians.

Their library of over 2,800 videos and print materials enables hospitals to engage and educate patients on a variety of subjects to improve their self-management and treatment adherence after they leave the hospital, such as the Newborn Channel and HeartCare Channel. The content can also be delivered or integrated through a variety of modalities – EHRs, mobile apps, tablets, DVDs, patient portals, and healthcare organization websites.

Together, the companies’ customer base will account for half of the hospitals in the United States. With the acquisition of Hunt Valley, Maryland-based Milner-Fenwick, The Wellness Network immediately ups its customer base to 3,200 hospitals and gains 690 peer-reviewed health education videos. Milner-Fenwick, which has functioned as a small, family-owned company for more than four decades, will continue producing videos as a subsidiary of the Wellness Network.

“Our customer revenue cycles are shifting to value-based reimbursement, dependent on integrated care plans which encourage linkage between hospitals, physicians, and other caregivers. That, in turn, requires access to consistent, relatable patient education across the spectrum of care,” The Wellness Network CEO Dave Ross said in a statement. “The addition of Milner-Fenwick’s video library and media production expertise will enable us to be an even better partner in improving patient wellness and outcomes.”

It also allows The Wellness Network to offer a broader scope of condition-specific educational content, meaning healthcare organizations do not have to rely on more than one network or library to provide content to their patients.

Milner-Fenwick President David Milner (whose father founded the company), told the Baltimore Sun the acquisition will allow the company to scale up to meet an increasing demand for videos across multiple platforms, such as smartphones and tablets, at a time when the market is consolidating and customers want "more complete solutions." Milner and his brother Richard, who is CEO of the company, will stay on at the firm.

“My family has spent over forty years pioneering and evolving the patient education video format to enhance and support today’s healthcare communication environment. As part of The Wellness Network, our tremendous library will be seen by more patients and their families and ultimately have greater impact on ROI for healthcare providers,” Milner said in a statement.