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Indianapolis software firm RealMed acquired

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Health care software firm RealMed Corp. will keep its base of operations in Indianapolis after being acquired by health information exchange provider Availity LLC of Jacksonville, Fla.

Terms of the deal announced Wednesday were not disclosed.

Founded in 1995, RealMed makes software to help health care providers process patient claims and payments faster and with potentially less need for office staff members. It attracted tens of millions of dollars in venture capital in its early years and employed 210 at its pre-recession peak. It now employs 175.

The company began to regain its momentum about two years ago, signing up thousands of new doctors and boasting a 99-percent customer retention rate.

Availity bills itself as a national leader among health information exchange providers, which help clients handle electronic medical records. The company said it will offer RealMed's revenue cycle management tools as a premium suite of services to its existing customers, which are spread all over the United States.

"Revenue cycle management was not one of our strengths, so now we can offer that as well," said Julie Klapstein, CEO of Availity. She added, "It’s all about reducing costs, improving efficiencies in the office, getting paid faster. They have a very good price point compared to the competition."

RealMed's operations so far have been concentrated in such states Indiana, Illinois, Maryland and North Carolina, which are not major territories for Availity.

Officials expect combined revenue to reach $100 million, the company told the Jacksonville Business Journal. Availity reported $70 million in revenue in 2009.

Together, Availity and RealMed have relationships with a network of more than 200,000 health care providers, 1,000 hospitals, 1,300 health plans and 500 industry partners, the company said. Last year, Availity announced a partnership with Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc.

Availity has 325 workers at offices in Florida and Texas. It is owned by five health insurance plans, including WellPoint, Illinois-based Health Care Service Corp., Kentucky-based Humana Inc. and the Blue Cross plans in Florida and Minnesota. Health Care Service Corp. was also a part-owner of RealMed.

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