Inverness Medical is continuing to build its wellness and disease management capabilities. Over the last few years it acquired Matria, Alere and some smaller vendors. It has been working to integrate and unify those companies and now has agreed to buy Free & Clear, a major provider of smoking cessation services for individuals, employers and health plans. (Press Release) (Press Release)
Inverness’ primary business has been diagnostic testing, increasingly directed to consumers. The company’s strategy appears to be combining the ability to monitor disease information regarding a specific patient, often in the patient’s home, with the ability to use that data in its health management programs. Because there is significant market penetration of both wellness and care management programs, differentiation is critical if commodity-type pricing is to be avoided. Inverness is hoping to utilize its diagnostic capabilities to create that differentiation. It appears to currently have minimal growth in its health management businesses, so doing something to revitalize that product line seems necessary. But there can be no doubting the company’s committment to the health management business.