McKesson acquires RelayHealth

There was a big healthcare IT deal in the Bay area today as McKesson announced that it has bought RelayHealth. The company is probably best known for WebVisits, popular software that allows patients to exchange messages with providers over a secure internet connection. Providers who use RelayHealth's system typically bill patients for an "online consultation" or e-consult, allowing them to seek reimbursement from insurers.

Despite reluctance on the part of some doctors, online consultations are growing increasingly popular with many health plans and employers, who see the technology as a means of keeping patients out of the doctor's office and increasing provider productivity.

- see this Business Week article