The deal, announced last week, will see Semantic Health’s technology, customers and team integrated into AAPC. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Following the acquisition, the two teams plan to expand Semantic Health’s functionality and to bolster AAPC’s current product offerings.
Semantic Health first emerged publicly in June 2021, though the startup was founded in 2019 and had two years of product development under its belt by that time. Prior to that launch, Semantic was working with hospitals in the United States and Canada that would later become the startup’s customers, which have come to include Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children and Humber River Hospital.
The startup uses AI to help hospitals improve their medical coding, auditing, and documentation processes. Semantic Health’s software analyzes unstructured data on patients, extracts insights from the data, and ultimately makes it easier for hospitals to use this information.
Semantic Health is led by CEO Dr. Nicola Sahar, a University of Toronto medical graduate who has also worked as a natural language processing researcher at the Vector Institute for AI. In a statement, Sahar said he believes the acquisition will help Semantic improve data quality, optimize revenue cycle management efficiency, and unlock generative AI in healthcare.
While startups have applied AI to healthcare for years—some notable Canadian companies in this space include Deep Genomics, Swift Medical, and BlueDot—generative AI is quickly beginning to make an impact on both clinical and administrative applications in the healthcare sector.
A recent McKinsey report predicted that generative AI could generate up to a $1.5-trillion opportunity in the healthcare industry through 2027. “It can do so by automating tedious and error-prone operational work, bringing years of clinical data to a clinician’s fingertips in seconds, and by modernizing health systems infrastructure,” a separate report noted.
AAPC is an education and credentialling organization for medical coders, billers, auditors, practice managers, documentation specialists, compliance officers, and revenue cycle managers. The company, based in Utah, aims to help healthcare organizations ensure documentation accuracy, boost employee efficiency, and optimize their revenue cycle.
Following the acquisition, the two teams plan to expand Semantic Health’s functionality and bolster AAPC’s current product offerings. AAPC said it plans to continue supporting Semantic Health’s existing customers while growing the platform.
“Right now, [Semantic Health] is a separate entity,” AAPC chief business development officer Daniel Schwebach said in a recent webinar announcing the acquisition. “It will, for the foreseeable future, remain that way so that they have the autonomy to operate and continue to develop [and] be fast and nimble. They’re more of a startup, and so we don’t want to take away from that.”
Feature image source Unsplash. Photo by Clay Banks.