News Column

Malik Buys Back Medfusion From Intuit

August 23, 2013

Steve Malik, the entrepreneur who sold his Cary medical software company Medfusion to Intuit three years ago, has acquired the business back for an undisclosed sum.

The deal comes about two months after Malik left Intuit following the Mountain View, Calif.-based company's decision to sell the business, now called Intuit Health. Malik, 48, said Wednesday that in recent months he had been looking for other companies to invest in.

"I looked at a lot of health IT startups, some of them in the Triangle," he said. "When it came down to it I decided that, frankly, the best opportunity available was to reacquire the business and invest in the potential moving forward, which I'm really excited about."

Intuit, the company behind popular software packages such as Quicken and TurboTax, announced July 1 that it planned to sell both its financial services business unit and its health unit. The moves are part of the publicly traded company's efforts to focus on its tax business and provide operating systems for small businesses.

Intuit Health represented less than 1 percent of its parent company's overall revenue, which totaled $4.2 billion in its 2013 fiscal year. The unit had revenue of about $16 million in 2013, down from $18 million during the previous year. Earlier this year, Intuit Health recorded a $46 million impairment charge after the unit's largest customer acquired a company that offered similar solutions.

Intuit Health's software enables patients to make appointments, pay their bills, request prescription refills, complete medical forms, review lab results and perform other tasks over the Internet. Physicians pay a monthly subscription fee for online and mobile access for their office and patients.

The company has roughly 150 employees, about 115 of which are based in Cary where the business is headquartered.

Malik, who sold Medfusion to Intuit for $91 million in 2010, remained the general manager of Intuit Health until January.

"When I was GM we were the fastest-growing unit in the company," Malik said. "We are substantially larger than when I sold the business."

Three years ago Medfusion's software was used by more than 30,000 physicians and more than 2 million patients. Today it is used by 65,000 doctors and more than 8 million patients.

Malik said health care reform efforts should continue to benefit Intuit Health, particularly the move to digitize health records and require patients to become more engaged.

"Patients getting involved with their health care is a primary lever in Obamacare succeeding and, frankly, in all of us lowering our health care costs," he said. "The industry recognizes it, it's being legislated by the government."

Malik said no decision has been made about whether the company will be renamed Medfusion. He said the business will continue to operate as Intuit Health for the next 90 days while employees craft a new branding strategy going forward.

Malik informed Intuit Health's employees that he had reacquired the business on Tuesday, when the deal closed.

"They've been dealing with the some uncertainty so they were very happy," he said.

Malik said he is the sole owner of the business, but he expects to seek out additional investors and partners going forward.

"We'd like to see a really big company grow in the Triangle," Malik said. "I think there are a lot of people interested in solidifying our place in the country as a health care IT beacon. As you know, there's a lot of health care IT workers here. I'd like to bring another big success to the area."

Bracken: 919-829-4548


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