Providence St. Joseph Health acquires Epic IT solutions consultant Bluetree

With its latest deal to acquire Bluetree, an Epic consulting company, PSJH now has two of the top EHR solutions companies in the country. (turk_stock_photographer/Getty Images)

Providence St. Joseph Health announced plans on Thursday to acquire Bluetree, an Epic consulting and strategy company that helps healthcare providers maximize their return on their electronic health record investment.

With the addition of Bluetree, the Renton, Washington-based health system now has two of the top EHR solutions companies in the country. It also owns Engage, which has grown to become one of the largest Meditech solution companies in the United States, according to the health system.

The acquisition is part of a strategy to diversify revenue to support patient care, health system officials said in a press release.

The deal is also the latest piece in the health system's "broader vision" for healthcare as it invests in new ventures. Just this year the health system, which operates 51 hospitals across seven states, launched a for-profit population health management company called Ayin Health Solutions. Providence St. Joseph Health also acquired Seattle-based Lumedic, a revenue cycle management company based on blockchain technology, with the aim of streamlining data sharing and improving claims processing.

The health system is the first integrated provider-payer system to establish a scalable blockchain platform to modernize claims processing and enhance interoperability between providers and payers.

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The Bluetree deal is a good fit, according to health system officials, as Providence St. Joseph Health is one of the largest Epic customers in the world and has extensive experience maximizing Epic, both within its own seven-state system and for other independent hospitals and medical groups.

Founded in 2012 by former Epic executives, Bluetree, based in Madison, Wisconsin, has more than 140 health system clients nationwide. In joining Providence St. Joseph Health, Bluetree will extend its customer reach and pursue additional growth and innovation opportunities, company officials said.

“Bluetree is on a trajectory for continued growth and success, and we look forward to partnering with them on this journey,” Mike Butler, president of strategy and operations for Providence St. Joseph Health, said in a statement.

Bluetree will operate as a separate subsidiary of Providence St. Joseph Health.

“By joining Providence St. Joseph Health, Bluetree will be able to help even more health care organizations maximize the power of technology,” Bluetree CEO Jeremy Schwach said in a statement. “Bluetree has always focused on helping health care organizations better care for their patients. By tapping into the Providence St. Joseph Health platform and their thousands of dedicated and talented providers, we will be able to increase the speed by which we bring new innovations to our clients.”

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Providence St. Joseph Health will continue to provide existing Epic implementation and management services to its family of organizations and Community Connect partners as it does today, the health system said.

The transaction will close and become effective upon the satisfaction of certain closing conditions, as included in the agreement. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.