IBM to Acquire Healthlink Incorporated, Nation's Foremost Healthcare Consulting Services Company

Acquisition Will Enhance IBM's Position as a Leader in On Demand Healthcare Transformation

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SOMERS, NY - 26 Apr 2005: IBM announced today that it will acquire Houston-based, Healthlink Incorporated, the nation's foremost healthcare process improvement and information technology consulting services company. This acquisition will significantly boost IBM's capabilities as a healthcare consulting and services leader, at a time of tremendous upheaval in the healthcare industry worldwide. Financial terms of the deal, expected to close in the second quarter, were not disclosed. Following the acquisition of Healthlink, all 12 healthcare companies listed on Fortune magazine's 2004 Global 500 list will be IBM customers.

"Improving healthcare is high on the agenda of public and private sector leaders worldwide, and addressing that challenge requires a combination of healthcare insight, clinical practice expertise, advanced technology and scale," said Neil E. de Crescenzo, Healthcare Industry Leader, Global and Americas, IBM Business Consulting Services. "The acquisition of Healthlink will establish IBM as a consulting and services leader in the healthcare provider industry, and will enable IBM to help the industry meet its goals of optimizing patient care and driving breakthrough operational efficiency."

Upon completion of this acquisition, over 625 Healthlink employees, including more than 550 professionals who are healthcare industry experts, will join IBM. These include consultants in fields such as clinical and financial system implementation, patient data management, clinical process optimization, financial and operational management, and compliance. IBM will have more than 300 consultants who are clinicians dedicated to the healthcare industry in the US. Healthlink's consultants occupy leadership positions in a range of key industry organizations, such as HIMSS, CHIME and NAHIT. In 2004, Healthlink was named the #1 professional services firm in clinical implementations by KLAS Enterprises.

"Healthcare organizations, from a national healthcare system to a small clinic, are under tremendous pressure to improve operational, business and clinical performance, while driving collaborative industry transformation," said Ivo Nelson, CEO of Healthlink. "The industry has to address multiple challenges simultaneously while achieving breakthroughs in many, if not all, of these areas. We believe the combination of Healthlink's industry insight and process expertise, with IBM's advanced technology, services and delivery skills, represents the integrated capability required to help healthcare providers address these challenges."

"Clinical Improvement is the strategy for the future of healthcare," said Michael Blaszyk, Executive vice president and CFO of Catholic Healthcare West. "IBM has recognized this and aligned its resources. This acquisition will help clients carry out these improvements."

The Healthlink team will become the core of the provider transformation practice for the healthcare industry within IBM Business Consulting Services. Existing Healthlink customers will continue to receive the high quality service they have experienced with Healthlink for many years plus new and enhanced solution capabilities, complemented by IBM's comprehensive technology portfolio, Research capabilities and services scale. Together, IBM and Healthlink will team with clients across a broad range of on demand health care services.

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