Doctor.com expects its merger with Connect Healthcare to create a single platform physician practices and hospitals can use to manage provider data, search engine optimization, online listings, patient feedback analysis, reputation monitoring and online scheduling.

Connect Healthcare will merge under the Doctor.com brand. The merger was funded by Doctor.com’s existing investors, Spring Mountain Capital, Colle Capital and StartUp Health, in an all cash and equity deal, the company says. Additional terms of the deal were not disclosed. Connect Healthcare President Noel Coleman will join Doctor.com as president of Enterprise Solutions.

Our goal is to change the multi-vendor environment status quo in healthcare.

The groundwork for the merger was laid through both company’s partnership the past two years that allowed Doctor.com to access Connect Health’s provider directory tools. Doctor.com has built a substantial network of partners including Google, Yelp, Bing, Healthgrades, Vitals.com and YP.com (Yellow Pages) to provide consolidated web services to medical practices and hospitals.

“After partnering with Connect Health, we saw a lot of synergies between our companies,” says Andrei Zimiles, co-founder and CEO of Doctor.com. “Merging with Connect Health continues our vision of being a holistic provider for marketing in digital healthcare.”

Doctor.com enables physician practices and hospitals to manage their online listings and provider profiles, search engine optimization, publish reviews directly to such sites as Healthgrades.com, Vitals.com and Wellness.com, manage their reputations through monitoring of patient reviews and analysis of themes and sentiments expressed in those reviews, and booking patient appointments online. The company says it has thousands of private practice clients and prior to the merger it had about 20 enterprise (hospital) clients.

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Connect Healthcare provides data management, provider search, reputation and performance improvement solutions for hospitals and large health systems. The company’s platform stores data for 1.2 million providers and powers directory solutions for 7.5 million unique users. Connect Healthcare has more than 200 hospitals, health systems and academic medical centers as clients, including UNC Health Care, UC San Diego Health, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Rush University Medical Center, UAB Medicine and Emory University. The merged company will now serve about 220 hospitals and health systems.

“Our goal is to change the multi-vendor environment status quo in healthcare,” Zimiles says. “Physician practices and hospitals will use multiple point solutions for things like booking an appointment and reviews. That kind of environment creates data silos and an inability to pull information from the different solutions into a single database.”

Some of the single provider applications that compete with Doctor.com include Zocdoc.com and Reputation.com. Some competitors such as Healthgrades.com have become allies by joining the company’s partner network.

The cost to implement the Docotor.com platform for private practices can range from between $3,000 to $10,000 annually. The cost for hospitals depends on the size of the facility, but Zimiles says the company has deals with hospitals ranging from $20,000 to $2 million annually.

Looking ahead, Zimiles sees opportunities to expand online scheduling to more hospitals in 2018 and introduce artificial intelligence to Doctor.com’s offerings to enable clients to perform data driven marketing.

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