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Compass Healthcare Advisers acquired by NJ. firm.

Vitals, a New Jersey-based firm that provides physician ratings to help consumers shop for medical care, has acquired price transparency company Compass Healthcare Advisers of Bedford.

The companies said the combination will allow health plans and employers to reduce costs, engage patients and deliver a "retail" way to buying health care services.

Compass Healthcare Advisers offers its online tool through health plans and employers. When members use Compass Healthcare Advisers' offering to save money, they receive monetary rewards from the program.

Vitals CEO Mitch Rothschild said employees of Compass will stay with the company and the company will continue to support its customer base, which is located in New Hampshire and Kentucky.

What's special about Compass Healthcare Advisers, Rothschild said, is that the company offers monetary rewards to people who use the service. He said that when users chose Compass Healthcare Advisers' service, they were 65 percent more likely to come back to the service the following year.

"Even the smartest most curated transparency information in the areas of cost quality and access have, so far, delivered modest engagement from consumers towards owning their own care," said Rothschild. "What's needed are incentives and analytics to trigger and increase engagement. Marrying Vitals' suite of transparency tools designed to assist the consumer in shopping for health care, with Compass' engagement capabilities that activate the consumer is clearly the model that will lead consumers to make better health care choices."

Compass' Smart Shopper solution engages patients through proactive outreach that includes alerts and cash incentives to seek out high-quality, lower-cost, providers. The company estimates that the average patient saves $635 each time the Compass SmartShopper service is used.

"Incentives engage where benefit designs can't," said Rob Graybill, CEO of Compass. "Compass was started to provide consumers with a smarter way to shop for their health care and to reward the patients that generate the savings. Vitals helps us with that mission by exposing enhanced quality metrics and reviews so consumers are confident they're getting the best care at the lowest price."

Baldwin & Clarke acted as exclusive financial advisor to Compass, and the McLane Law Firm served as legal counsel. Lowenstein Sandler served as legal counsel to Vitals.

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Title Annotation:HEALTH; Vitals
Publication:New Hampshire Business Review
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 14, 2014
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