Healtheon/WebMD To Acquire EDI Company



Healtheon/WebMD Corp., an Internet health-care company, announced today the acquisition of the Envoy Corp., the electronic data interchange unit of Quintile Transnational Corp., for a total of $2.5 billion in stock and cash.

Envoy is a processor of EDI transactions in the medical industry, involving more than 25,000 physicians and 900 insurance plans in 1999. With the acquisition, Healtheon/WebMD hopes to offer end-to-end Web applications and services to the pharmaceutical industry.

"Envoy understands and delivers complex health-care solutions and manages a tremendous volume of transactions from a wide range of sources," says Mike Long, chairman and chief operating officer at Healtheon/WebMD. "We can significantly accelerate our growth of electronic transactions.

"Healtheon has arrived," says Michael Barrett, senior analyst in Forrester Research's E-health-care unit. "Healtheon has had a credibility problem that it has been too consumer driven and too marketing driven. This directly addresses that criticism as a major enhancement for the physicians' portal and transaction-processing site."

At the end of trading today, Healtheon/WebMD stock closed at 65-1/8, up 5-9/16 or 9.3%.

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