Vestar News

DENVER, Jan. 8, 2019/Denver Business Journal/ — Healthgrades, the online portal that lets consumers read reviews on hospitals, doctors and other health care providers, has acquired a Birmingham company that’s going to allow it to expand its customer relationship management business and add new offerings to its suite of products.

Rob Draughon, CEO of the Denver-based company, announced at the 37th annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference on Tuesday, that Healthgrades acquired Birmingham, Alabama-based Influence Health, a company that offers web development, social media and search optimization products for health care customers.

Terms of the deal were undisclosed, but Draughon told Denver Business Journal it would give the combined company about 1,500 customers. Both companies had about 1,000 customers ahead of the acquisition.

The company doesn’t share revenue numbers, but Draughon expects the deal to increase business by 20 percent in 2019.

That’s going to be done by boosting its CRM business. The software product accounts for about 25 percent of the company’s revenue. Influence also offered a CRM solution to its customers.

Draughon said part of the appeal to purchase Influence was its ability to drive social media and search campaigns, along with its website-building services.

“It’s going to expand our footprint and add some new offerings,” he said. “It’s much easier to up-sell to the existing base then try to venture out into a new customer base.”

One of those new products for Healthgrades to up-sell will be Influence’s directory listing management software. The technology checks health system information, like phone numbers, personnel and addresses, across the internet to make sure everything is up to date.

Healthgrades makes a majority of its revenue — about 75 percent — from its physician directory, which gives consumers relevant information about hospitals and doctors in their area. Health systems sponsor about 75 percent of that revenue; pharmaceutical customers make up about 25 percent, Draughon said.

The acquisition adds about 80 employees, bringing Healthgrade’s total workforce to more than 800. The combined company’s headquarters will be in Denver. A company spokeswoman said there were some redundancies as part of the deal, but declined to disclose specific numbers. Influence Health employed about 200 people and had plans to grow.

Last year, Influence did a major expansion in Atlanta, where it had plans to double its workforce and relocate to Armour Yards, a 300,000-square-foot loft-office project. The company had plans to add as many as 35 jobs in Atlanta through 2019.

In 2015, Influence entered the Atlanta market after it purchased BrightWhistle, a company that developed software to aid health insurers, physicians and hospitals land new patients, for $20 million.

Healthgrades will keep existing offices in Birmingham and Atlanta, in addition to its Raleigh office, Draughton said. Both companies also have smaller offices in Madison, Wisconsin, which will be consolidated into one building.

Draughon said he isn’t done buying more companies.

“This is the second deal we’ve done in the last three years,” he said. “We’ve been looking at companies, but prices were not attractive. Now, there are some in our space that we hope to [acquire].”