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 June 1, 1999

Access Health leads market in clinical call-center solutions

BROOMFIELD — Six months ago, Access Health Inc. was a big player in the U.S. health-care industry. Now, it’s part of the world’s largest health-care service company.

In December 1998, Broomfield-based Access Health, which had 1997 revenues of $120.6 million, was acquired by Atlanta-based HBOC, the country’s largest health-care software vendor. A month later, HBOC merged with McKesson, which specializes in pharmaceutical information systems.

“If you throw it all together, we’re all part of an entity that touches more players in the marketplace that any other company ever has,´ said Access Health Group President Joe Tallman.

The mergers and acquisitions, which also included a 1998 addition of two other large health-care systems providers, caused McKessonHBOC’s revenues and profits to soar, making it the largest net profit percentage gainer in The Business Report’s survey of Boulder County public companies. Net income jumped from $5.1 million in 1997 to $154 million in 1998, a 2937 percent increase.

Access Health, which employs about 1,200 in the United States, Puerto Rico and Great Britain, functions as a wholly owned subsidiary of McKessonHBOC. Tallman said he doesn’t expect day-to-day operations to change much, although he predicts Access Health will add about 300 employees this year, many of them in Broomfield.

The company also will work to tie in health-care delivery systems with the McKesson and HBOC markets — especially in pharmaceuticals.

Access Health operates in the “front end of the health-care delivery system,” Tallman said, and is the market leader in clinical call center solutions. Clients include managed-care organizations, provider groups, employers and the government.

Access Health’s products can be divided into three areas: acute care, utilization management and chronic patient management.

The company’s acute-care software is used on about 40 million people. Among other things, it allows triage providers to assess a patient’s condition through a series of questions, then access a database that helps patients find the best health-care provider.

The utilization management system takes calls from doctors and hospitals that want to make sure they’re operating within standardized care guidelines.

The software for chronic patients details specific programs for patients with chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes or heart conditions.

Access Health currently has call centers in Broomfield, Phoenix, the Sacramento, Calif. area, the Chicago area, San Juan, Puerto Rico and Great Britain.

In the next 12 to 18 months, Tallman said the company probably will establish a call center on the East Coast. Access Health is also looking outside the United States. Because of the success of its Puerto Rico call center, it’s considering offering more Spanish-speaking services.

The company is also looking at countries with public health-care systems. Tallman said Access Health is currently working on a trial basis in Portugal, managing 350,000 pediatric patients.

BROOMFIELD — Six months ago, Access Health Inc. was a big player in the U.S. health-care industry. Now, it’s part of the world’s largest health-care service company.

In December 1998, Broomfield-based Access Health, which had 1997 revenues of $120.6 million, was acquired by Atlanta-based HBOC, the country’s largest health-care software vendor. A month later, HBOC merged with McKesson, which specializes in pharmaceutical information systems.

“If you throw it all together, we’re all part of an entity that touches more players in the marketplace that any other company ever has,´ said Access Health…

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