Allscripts buys A4 Health Systems

Allscripts will buy A4 Health Systems for roughly $272 million in cash and stock. A4 is best known for its Healthmatics EMR--originally developed by pharma company Glaxo--and its practice management system for small to medium-sized practices. It also has a strong presence in emergency department software. Allscripts has a solid EMR offering in the larger physician practice market, as well as a stand-alone ePrescribing application which is being promoted by several Blues plans.

In addition to the A4 deal, Allscripts also announced that it will continue
to work with IDX, recently acquired by GE, in a new five year deal. However,
its royalties for marketing to IDX clients will be reduced by 50 percent immediately and phased out after that. Its partnership with IDX has been responsible for a significant amount of its business, and given that GE owns a competing EMR product in the large physician practice market, this had been a source of some confusion hanging over Allscripts. Wall Street seems to like the deal, with Allscripts shares slightly higher in morning trading.

- see this article from the AP