A flurry of early 2013 M&A and investment activity highlighted the growing market interest in consumer-focused solutions, primarily those that seek to improve the consumer experience or drive engagement. Recent activity involved several market leaders in the consumer category, including GetWellNetwork (recapitalized by Welsh, Carson, Anderson and Stowe), Emmi Solutions (recapitalized by Primus Capital) and DestinationRx (acquired by Connecture).

For a number of healthcare product and services providers (such as Merck or Weight Watchers), who have been addressing consumer needs through business-to-consumer (B2B) and direct-to-consumer (DTC) models for some time, consumerism is not new – it is part of their DNA.  However, for healthcare payers and providers (and the technology and service companies they rely on), consumerism is new, and their reaction to this change is impacting the industry.

This shift towards consumerism in the payer and provider setting has been steadily building for more than a decade. Today, the consumer is emerging at the center of nearly every care delivery and decision-making process.  In reaction, many vendor solutions are being introduced that allow consumers to better manage their own health, health information and care options.  Market leaders include vendors that enable transparency or improve quality and customer experience across the care continuum. These vendors are also taking cues from like-minded approaches in the financial services and retail sectors.

Marketplace demand for more dynamic consumer focus is being accelerated by health reform, and was a driver behind an upcoming research report our team is publishing.   Empowering Individuals to Be Better Healthcare Consumers is due for release in the coming weeks, and will be a guide for healthcare organizations interested in TripleTree’s take on understanding consumerism, its market dynamics in healthcare and profiles of market leaders.

Let me know if you’re interested in a copy of this research once it’s published.