December 22, 2020 (Boston, MA) – Covington Associates, a leading middle market investment bank announced its role as exclusive financial advisor to Azara Healthcare, a leading provider of population health solutions, in the merger of its company with SPH Analytics’ Population Health Division, a leader in healthcare consumer experience measurement, engagement and population-based analytics. Operating as Azara Healthcare, the new company offers a unique combination of provider-centric population health expertise, data analytics, and direct connectivity between providers and payers. The combined organization will deliver deep population health insights to support government and commercial risk contracts, quality programs, care management, and cost and utilization, while forming strong partnerships among payers, providers, and members, to realize the promise of value-based care.
“We have spent the last decade collaborating with community health organizations who are expert population health practitioners in underserved populations, with particular emphasis on managed Medicaid,” said Jeff Brandes, who will continue serving in his role as CEO of Azara Healthcare. “As a result of this partnership, our solution is directly tied to the needs of patients and providers. With the addition of the SPH Analytics population health division, Azara now has a robust platform to extend this value to also meet the unique and growing needs of the commercial provider and payer risk markets.”
Now one of the nation’s largest focused population health companies, Azara Healthcare supports over 60,000 providers and payers, impacting the health of more than 25 million Americans. The company’s combined solutions have received numerous awards and recognition by noted industry analysts such as KLAS Research and Black Book Research.
With the ability to integrate data from diverse sources and help providers tie their clinical data to payer claims data, financial systems, Health Information Exchanges (HIEs), and more, the new Azara Healthcare will now be able to support clients in all aspects of population health. This includes customized population health initiatives, payer-driven value-based contracts, and state and federal government reporting requirements, as well as other physician incentive programs such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid’s Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), Accountable Care and other alternative payment programs.
“The healthcare information technology space is complicated and often leaves providers and patients with insufficient solutions,” said Kevin Weinstein, formerly President of SPH Analytics’ population health division, now President and Chief Growth Officer of Azara Healthcare. “We have spent nearly two decades delivering strong value by enabling providers to drive behavior change with their patients, ultimately delivering better clinical outcomes and lower total cost of care. By merging with Azara, we’ve created a unique platform with enhanced data analytics, reporting, and interoperability capabilities to advance towards true accountable care models.”
The merger was led by Hughes & Company, a private equity firm exclusively focused on the healthcare technology sector, with support from existing SPH Analytics investor STG. SPH Analytics will remain a minority shareholder and an active business partner with Azara Healthcare.
“We’ve studied population health for a number of years,” said Hughes & Company Managing Director, Travis Hughes. “The promise of population health is not new—but the ability to deliver actionable benefits to patients, providers, and payers is. We see enormous potential to build upon the proven track records of Azara and SPH to create value at scale.”
The company will have headquarters in Burlington, MA, just outside of Boston with offices in Alpharetta, GA, in suburban Atlanta.
Azara Healthcare was advised by Covington Associates and Feinberg Hanson, who served as investment banking and legal advisors, respectively. Hughes & Company was represented by Cooley, while Paul Hastings served as legal counsel for SPH Analytics and STG. Terms of the transactions were not disclosed.
About Covington Associates
Covington Associates is an investment banking firm offering advisory services in the areas of mergers and acquisitions (“M&A”), capital raising and strategic advisory to middle-market companies across the Healthcare, Business Services, Consumer & Industrial, and Technology verticals. Founded in 1991 and based in Boston, the vision for Covington has been to provide clients with the highest caliber of senior-level attention and to remain an advice driven and results focused organization. Since its inception, Covington Associates has completed over 250 transactions globally for both private and publicly traded companies totaling over $17 billion. Further information can be found at http://www.covingtonassociates.com/overview/.
About Azara Healthcare
Azara Healthcare is the leading provider of data-driven analytics, interoperability, quality measurement and reporting for the Community Health and physician practice market. Azara solutions empower more than 1,000 Community Health Centers, physician practices, Primary Care Associations, Health Center Controlled Networks, clinically integrated networks and regional health plans in 36 states to improve the quality and efficiency of care for more than 25 million Americans through actionable data. Azara consistently earns accolades as a top population health vendor by industry market intelligence firm KLAS Research and was ranked number one in MACRA and MIPS Support Technology for Value-Based Care by Black Book Research. For more information visit: https://azarahealthcare.com.
About SPH Analytics
SPH Analytics (SPH) offers the leading healthcare measurement and analytics platform for consumer experience and engagement. Leveraging a foundation of 35 years of healthcare consumer experience data and behavioral patterns, SPH deploys an analytical and predictive approach to measure and report the consumer experience, understand root causes to drive quality improvement and create blueprints for who, how, and when to engage consumers for optimal outcomes.
As the top-ranked patient satisfaction measurement firm for health plans by Modern Healthcare, SPH is the recognized leader in the industry and the only company certified to conduct all CMS- and NCQA-mandated experience surveys. SPH serves health plan and provider clients in all 50 states, reaches out to 92 million consumers annually, and aggregates data into proprietary benchmarks that represent 70%+ of the U.S. payer market. Corporate headquarters are in metro Atlanta. For more information, call 1-866-460-5681 or visit SPHAnalytics.com.
About Hughes & Company
Hughes & Company is a growth-oriented private equity firm focused exclusively on the healthcare industry. Hughes & Company invests in leading healthcare software and technology-enabled service companies in the lower-middle market where the firm can help accelerate growth and build category leaders. For more information visit: http://www.hughes-co.com.