Friday, March 7, 2014

HealthStream buys New York Online Training Company for $15.4 Million

Nashville-based HealthStream has acquired Jericho, N.Y.-based Health Care Compliance Strategies, a company focused on interactive and engaging online compliance training for health care organizations, according to a news release.

HealthStream, which provides workforce development solutions for the health care industry, purchased HCCS for approximately $13 million in cash and $2.4 million in shares of HealthStream's common stock in a private placement, the release says. In addition, up to $750,000 in cash will be paid over a 12-month period following closing subject to the achievement of certain performance milestones.
The following are excerpts from today's news release:

Healthcare is one of the most highly regulated industries in the U.S. and the number of regulations continues to grow, which results in growing demands for compliance training. HealthStream has long been the leading provider of workforce development solutions in healthcare, which has included itsOSHA & accreditation compliance training in U.S. hospitals with its 3.7 million subscribers to its platform. With its added capabilities, courseware, and expertise from the acquisition of HCCS, HealthStream now has a comprehensive compliance solution—with a full continuum of services and training programs that addresses the broad range of compliance priorities.
"HealthStream is a perfect fit for HCCS to further support development of the healthcare workforce," said Ben Diamond, president, HCCS. "We are both focused on providing exceptional compliance solutions that, in turn, help to improve patient outcomes and promote compliance with ethical, legal, and accreditation guidelines. HealthStream has pioneered compliance solutions in healthcare and we are excited to play a role in building their robust compliance offering."

Through the acquisition of HCCS, HealthStream adds a comprehensive curriculum of premium compliance courseware and training programs, which include several bundled offerings—like the Quality Improvement Suite, Workplace Compliance Suite, General Compliance Suite, and the Research Compliance Suite. HCCS' courses use fast, rich content, with full motion video and interactivity. Examples of the diverse compliance topics in HCCS' courseware include HIPAA Compliance, Bioterrorism & Disaster Preparation, Patient Rights, Reducing Medication Errors, and Health Plan Compliance. Helping organizations comply with the training requirements of Corporate Integrity Agreements (CIAs) is another specialty area of HCCS that adds to HealthStream's overall compliance solution strategy.

HealthStream's workforce development solutions are also expanded with HCCS' SaaS-based application for tracking potential conflicts of interest disclosures, known as the COI-SMART system. Cumbersome manual processes are automated with COI-SMART as the system tracks and manages potential conflicts of interest among hospitals' physicians, executives, and other healthcare professionals. Correspondingly, courses are also offered in "Conflicts of Interest and Research Misconduct." COI-SMART will be offered on a subscription basis to healthcare organizations, adding another powerful, healthcare-specific application, which will be integrated with HealthStream's workforce development platform.

HealthStream's comprehensive compliance solution will be offered primarily to corporate compliance officers in hospitals, who represent an increasingly important role in healthcare organizations. At this time, 98 percent of healthcare organizations have a corporate compliance officer (CCO) with a staff, on average, of three full-time employees. The Health Care Compliance Association now has over 9,000 active members. Alongside the growing number of federal and state regulatory requirements, the industry-wide focus on improving patient safety has further contributed to the importance of compliance programs in healthcare organizations. The addition of HCCS brings a sales team dedicated to this channel, which will be immediately expanded to cover HealthStream's 10 sales regions.

"I would like to extend a warm welcome to HCCS' clients and employees," said Robert A. Frist, Jr., chief executive officer, HealthStream. "Providing OSHA & accreditation compliance solutions to healthcare organizations has been a core offering for HealthStream for over a decade and we are excited to expand the scope of our solutions in this important area. HCCS' premium content and thought leadership add important dimensions to our compliance solution strategy."