Centene acquires Apixio to make sense of unstructured clinical data for its millions of members

The data analytics platform extracts patient data from physician notes, medical charts, and other documents and translates the information into clinical and administrative guidance.
By Dave Muoio
12:16 pm
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A deal being signed

Yesterday Centene Corporation, a managed care enterprise, announced its plans to acquire unstructured patient data analytics company Apixio.

The artificial intelligence company will operate independently underneath Centene's Health Care Enterprises group, according to the announcement. The deal is expected to close before the end of the year. The companies did not disclose any other terms of the deal.

Apixio's platform finds and compiles patient data from physician notes, medical charts and other clinical documents. From these unstructured text sources it draws actionable insights such as risk measurement or care-decision guidance. Its EHR-integrated tools are designed for payers or providers.

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WHAT'S THE IMPACT?

Within the U.S. and abroad, Centene has more than 23 million patients under its wing. It's also the largest provider of government-sponsored health plans, with many of its members falling within the Medicare and Medicaid populations.

Acquiring Apixio's business and platform allows the managed care company to deploy the technology across its entire enterprise, potentially optimizing care and reducing administrative costs for a massive volume of patients.

"Apixio's capabilities are closely aligned with our plans to digitize the administration of healthcare and to leverage comprehensive data to help improve the lives of our members," Michael F. Neidorff, chairman, CEO and president of Centene, said in a statement.

"Apixio's technology will complement existing data analytics products, including Interpreta, creating a differentiated platform to broaden support for value-based healthcare payment and delivery with actionable intelligence."

THE LARGER TREND

Research suggests that unstructured clinical data trapped in EHRs or other sources can provide real-world insights for research or more accurate predictive modeling. As such, the past few years have given rise to a handful of tech platforms, from startups like Apixio, Knowtions Research and, to some extent, the recently purchased WhiteHatAI, that leverage natural language processing to help payers and providers.

One other noteworthy player in the space is Amazon Web Services, which launched its Amazon Comprehend Medical service at the end of 2018. The tech giant's machine learning tool can be deployed within an organization's existing systems, and doesn't require the organization itself to manage any servers or store any data.

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