Nordic to Move Into Management Consulting After Partial Acquisition

Nordic, a healthcare consulting firm that advises on implementations of computerized patient records software and other projects, said Tuesday that it had acquired part of The Claro Group.

Madison, WI-based Nordic said its acquisition of Chicago-based Claro’s revenue cycle transformation practice marks the Wisconsin company’s first foray into “the technology-agnostic management consulting world.”

Up to this point, Nordic has focused on helping customers—primarily hospital and clinic networks—install and configure new software applications. The company is known for hiring employees with expertise in products developed by Epic Systems, which is headquartered nearby, in Verona, WI. Many members of Nordic’s staff worked at Epic previously.

In its announcement that it had acquired Claro’s revenue cycle practice, Nordic did not disclose any specific financial terms of the deal.

The two leaders at Claro who had overseen the practice, Cathy Smith and Shannon Yasseri, have joined Nordic, the company said. Both have the title “managing director of revenue cycle transformation,” according to Nordic’s website.

It’s not clear whether Nordic made an upfront payment to Claro for the rights to the practice, or whether Claro will receive a portion of future profits Nordic’s revenue cycle transformation practice generates. A spokesperson for the company declined to comment.

Smith, who is based in the Seattle area, founded Claro’s revenue cycle transformation practice in 2011, Nordic said. Yasseri, who’s based in greater Atlanta, joined the practice later that year. Prior to joining Claro, both worked at Chicago-based Huron Consulting Group (NASDAQ: HURN).

Most of Epic’s products fit into one of two categories. One is clinical applications—tools that allow doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers to document information on patients in settings like exam rooms and emergency departments.

The other category is access and revenue cycle applications. These allow users to schedule appointments for patients and verify they have health insurance before being seen by a doctor, to name two examples. Access and revenue applications are also what many healthcare providers use to bill insurers for care.

Having a single record for each patient that spans clinical, access, and revenue applications, and that can be accessed by all hospitals and clinics within a particular organization, is in essence what constitutes an “integrated” medical record.

The revenue cycle practice Nordic acquired from Claro focuses on improving financial performance, in part by reducing avoidable losses, Nordic said.

Nordic CEO Bruce Cerullo said in a prepared statement that his company’s partial acquisition represents “another step in our mission to create truly customized end-to-end solutions for our [clients].”

Mark Bakken founded Nordic in 2010, but left the company in 2014 and is now managing partner at the Madison-based VC group HealthX Ventures.

Nordic has more than 850 employees and estimates its total revenues in 2017 were about $193 million, the company spokesperson said in an e-mail.

Now Nordic will seek to continue its growth by consulting on more projects outside of electronic health records installations, a niche the company has successfully carved out for itself over the last seven years.

Jeff Buchanan is the editor of Xconomy Wisconsin. Email: jbuchanan@xconomy.com Follow @_jeffbuchanan

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