Baltimore-based consultancy Discern Health joins W2O

W2O Group, a global healthcare marketing and communications firm, has acquired Discern Health, a management consulting firm specializing in value-based healthcare.

Healthcare systems are under increasing pressure as populations grow and age, and more people deal with chronic conditions. The traditional fee-for-service model, which incentivizes volume of treatment over the “right” treatment, seems increasingly unsustainable. Value-based care, which links processes, structures, and reimbursement to patient outcomes, is widely viewed as a better and more sustainable healthcare model going forward.

According to Discern Health, up to 80% of US healthcare spending will be tied to quality or value-based payment models by 2020.

“Value-based care is a key driver of health system change,” said Guy D’Andrea, founder and managing partner of Discern Health. “To be successful, health care companies need to integrate value-based strategy into each level of their organization and each stage of product development.”

Baltimore-based consultancy Discern Health joins W2O

Founded in 2004, Discern advises healthcare organizations on the performance measures and innovative payment models which are changing the face of the industry. The firm delivers strategy and policy solutions to life sciences companies, government and nonprofit agencies, and health insurers.

Discern has more than 20 professionals across offices in Baltimore and Washington, DC.

W20’s acquisition of the firm will deepen its value, access, and pricing consulting capabilities. Discern will be rolled into the W2O’s single profit and loss (P&L) operation, which is composed of a 1,400-person team of data analysts, scientific strategists, branding experts, communications specialists, and creatives. The Discern leadership team will remain the same, according to a release from W2O.

“Value-based metrics, the continued need for real-world data integration, and the changing landscape of federal, state, and international health policy in the face of the Covid-19 crisis are impacting healthcare faster than ever before,” said Rita Glaze, leader of the commercial strategy and market access practice at W2O. “With Discern Health as part of our organization, we will continue to raise the quality and depth of our data and analytics offering, to ensure it stands up to the scrutiny of peer and government review.”

The deal is W2O’s sixth acquisition since it sold a portion of the company to private equity firm New Mountain Capital in 2019. Earlier this year, the company bought social media analytics firm Symplur and ad agency 21Grams. W2O in 2019 purchased New Jersey’s Radius Digital Science, London’s, and Philadelphia’s Arcus Media.

W2O is based in San Francisco, and has 14 offices in the US, as well as international locations in London and Zurich.

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