Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. spin-offs LifePoint Hospitals and Triad Hospitals last week agreed to become "founding partners" of empactHealth.com, the Web-based healthcare procurement company that their former parent helped launch late last year. Under the multiyear arrangement, Nashville-based LifePoint and Dallas-based Triad have agreed to use empactHealth for their supply chain management. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Health Management Associates, another for-profit hospital chain, previously agreed to become a partner in empactHealth.com.
Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif., has launched an Internet start-up venture called e-SKOLAR. The venture will charge hospitals and medical groups a monthly fee for access to an Internet database that would help physicians diagnose and treat patients, as well as allow doctors to take courses for continuing medical education credits. The database was developed by Stanford's School of Medicine. The university has spent about $3 million so far developing the venture.
By 2005, an estimated 88.5 million adults will turn to the World Wide Web for health-related information and product purchases, according to a report released last week by Cyber Dialogue, a New York-based Internet services company. The report said about 11 million consumers now are buying health and beauty products on the Internet, and an estimated 36.7 million are seeking health content there.