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par Thomas Dworetzky , Contributing Reporter
Siemens Healthineers has closed its deal to acquire Medicalis Corporation.

The impetus for the deal is to permit integration of San Francisco-based Medicalis' workflow orchestration and clinical decision support products with other Healthineers population health management (PHM) products. The acquired products include Clinical Decision Support (CDS) Solutions at the point of order entry, Imaging Workflow (IW) management, and Referral Management (RM).

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“This acquisition allows us to extend the Siemens Healthineers strategy for value-based health care, by helping to optimize both utilization and departmental clinical workflow. In this way, we intend to support best practice care pathways and the reduction of unwarranted variation for high-impact conditions,” Robert Taylor, head of Digital Services Population Health Management, Digital Health Services, Siemens Healthineers, said in a statement.

Part of the rationale for Siemens to make the acquisition came from the impact of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (PAMA), which is expected to become effective on January 1, 2018. This law requires health systems to check the appropriateness of certain advanced imaging exams – part of the general move toward evidence-based and results-oriented medicine.

"We are excited to support our customers with these innovative tools to remove the variability from key high-impact disease states, to create standardized diagnostic pathways which enhance outcomes, control costs, and when combined with intelligent referral management, improve the patient experience overall,” said Taylor when the deal was announced in April.

The Medicalis buy is also another example of Siemens Healthineers efforts to bolster its offerings as it moves toward becoming a stand-alone health care company.

Those restructuring efforts are paying off, its CEO Berndt Montag said during a mid-May webcast. Healthineers is “uniquely positioned in an attractive yet transforming market,” he stated, noting that many of the changes taking place in the organization are being driven by the fact that governments and insurers are changing from volume-based to value-based incentives – and that they are demanding better outcomes for lower costs. At the same time patients are becoming well-educated consumers expecting higher quality of care.

“It requires a partner with a broad portfolio across departments, and with the ability to think beyond, and help them,” Montag noted. “We see more and more providers switching from one single transaction to long-term arrangements, which help them remain state-of-the-art across multi-site institutions in the long run.”

While plans are “well advanced” to split off Healthineers, the method of achieving independence for the $15 billion health care business is not yet certain.

“We have been preparing all the decisive steps and we are following three very interesting alternatives,” Ralf Thomas, Siemens chief financial officer, told Bloomberg TV in early May. These could include a regular initial public offering, a spinoff, or a reverse initial public offering involving a merger with an already-listed company.

Siemens announced in February that it might list the Healthineers in the U.S. and not Europe. But there was a possible change of heart in early March, when Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser told Swiss newspaper Finanz und Wirtschaft that “under President Donald Trump” he “will have to think twice” about where to list the health care unit, mentioning Frankfurt and Hong Kong as possibilities.

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