Spokane Journal of Business

Providence acquires Epic consultant Bluetree

Acquired company offers health records optimization

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Providence St. Joseph Health has acquired Epic consulting and strategy company Bluetree Network Inc. in a move to diversify its nonclinical revenue stream and enhance its use of the Epic digital health records system, executives at both organizations say.

Providence, the Renton, Washington-based health care provider network with a major presence in the Inland Northwest, began using the Epic health records system in 2013.

Providence CEO Mike Butler says that when the nonprofit health care network updated its strategic and financial plan a few years ago, the organization decided to create a nonclinical services arm that could generate $1 billion by 2023 to help support clinical costs and keep health care services affordable.

Providence also owns Spokane-based medical software and services company Engage, which it bought in 2013.

Butler says Providence has been offering the ability for access to its Epic system through Epic Community Connect. “Today, we have about 51 different customers in that particular area. The part of it that was missing was the Epic consulting, optimization, and management services,” he says.

In February, Providence began acquisition talks with Madison, Wisconsin-based Bluetree. The transaction was completed Monday, July 1. Both companies decline to reveal terms of the transaction.

Bluetree CEO Jeremy Schwach says the company wasn’t looking to be acquired, but Providence presented a compelling case.

“Once we started talking about what would it be like if we put our powers together, it started to become more and more clear that there’s a really unique opportunity here,” Schwach says.

Schwach says Bluetree is focused on large-scale impacts to the health care system through Epic consulting and optimization.

Schwach says Bluetree will remain headquartered in Madison and currently doesn’t plan to open a Washington office. 

Virginia Thomas
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Reporter Virginia Thomas has worked at the Journal since 2017 and covers the banking and finance industries. As a reporter, she loves learning about Spokane's many growing industries. She enjoys travelling with her husband, snuggling with her cats, and cross stitching.

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