Kyruus deal shows health system execs’ No. 1 priority is improving patient access

The news: Provider search and scheduling company Kyruus is acquiring digital patient engagement entrant Epion Health.

What it means: Kyruus gets access to Epion’s telehealth, virtual scheduling, virtual check-ins, and patient reminder tools.

Together, the combined entity will reach more than 500 health systems and medical practices.

  • It’s not like Kyruus didn’t already have a wide footprint before the acquisition, though.
  • The company's provider search and scheduling platform spans more than 300,000 providers alone. Its 2021 acquisition of price transparency service HealthSparq also helped Kyruus boost its clinician network.

Patients don’t have time to wait: Many patients prefer booking appointments after-hours, same-day, or next-day. Without digital scheduling tools, it’s hard to do this quickly.

  • About 1 in 4 patients say they face difficulty reaching someone at their doctor’s office by phone, per Zocdoc.
  • That lack of availability affects patient acquisition. If a patient’s initial attempt to call an office doesn’t get them an appointment, many (26%) said they wait a few weeks to try booking an appointment again, according to Zocdoc.

Flexibility is important to patients. Especially since it determines where patients want to get care.

  • About 42% of patients will switch physicians if they don’t provide good digital experiences like online billing and appointment scheduling, per Cedar.

The larger trend: Patient access is a top priority for health system execs over the next year.

  • Many health system execs plan to improve patient access by implementing patient reminder tools (92%) or self-scheduling tools like Kyruus (80%), per a 2022 KLAS and Center for Connected Medicine report.
  • We’ve already seen some health systems keep true to their patient access plans. Last month, UNC Health tapped engagement platform Well Health to send patients appointment reminders, for instance.

This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence's Digital Health Briefing—a daily recap of top stories reshaping the healthcare industry. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.

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