Two leading digital health care companies are joining forces in New Jersey.
Zelis, the digital health care payments company based in Bedminster, said it will acquire Lyndhurst-based Sapphire Digital, which provides a platform for health care consumers to search for providers, compare pricing and schedule appointments.
“Together, we will create the next-generation health care financial experience for consumers by integrating Zelis’ payments and communications capabilities with Sapphire’s market-leading health care consumer transparency and navigation tools,” Zelis Chief Member Empowerment Officer Michael Axt said.
Joining Zelis is a natural fit for Sapphire, which has worked to develop an industry-leading platform for provider selection, patient access, price transparency and digital consumer navigation, Sapphire Chief Financial Officer Bryan Perler said.
“We’re thrilled to have achieved that, and now to combine our member-focused platform with Zelis’ leading health care payments capabilities, we will have the technology, people and energy to harmonize the pricing and payments process for all health care constituents,” Perler said.
Sapphire, founded in 2007, employs approximately 200 people and serves more than 100 million members at over 50 leading health plans, third-party administrators and self-funded employers.
Axt said both companies will continue with business as usual for now, and he expects “little to no impact on operations for the foreseeable future.”
Once the acquisition is complete, Sapphire’s employees will become Zelis associates, and the company’s CEO, Kyle Raffaniello, will report to Zelis CEO Amanda Eisel, Axt said. Raffaniello will maintain her current leadership team.
“Our primary focus after closing will be on maintaining business continuity and continuing to deliver exceptional service to our clients; therefore, Sapphire will operate in its current structure upon closing,” Axt said.
The announcement of the deal comes amid a busy quarter for Zelis, which appointed a new CEO, Eisel, in August and was named to the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies for the 11th time.
“In today’s digital world, consumers demand innovative solutions,” Axt said. “They want our services and associates to help with complex issues, and they want every interaction to be personalized.”
The acquisition of Sapphire is one of the steps Zelis is taking to help meet that demand, he said.
“Zelis and Sapphire have been tackling some of health care’s greatest challenges,” Axt said. “Now that our companies are joining forces, together, we will be integrating both sides of the member experience and can ready consumers for a new model of health care engagement; by paying for care with care.”