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The Business Herald’s markets and banking reporter.

Orion in major US healthcare deal

Orion Health chief executive Ian McCrae says staff cuts are the result of a drive for 'efficiencies' in the business. Photo / Greg Bowker
Orion Health chief executive Ian McCrae says staff cuts are the result of a drive for 'efficiencies' in the business. Photo / Greg Bowker

Software developer Orion Health has announced a major contract with an American healthcare insurer, while also confirming it has laid off around a 10th of its US workforce.

Orion chief executive Ian McCrae said the deal would see the Auckland-based company's Amadeus precision medicine platform supplied to the as-yet unnamed insurer, which has over 3 million members. No financial details of the deal were released.

"We will be announcing the name [of the insurer] next week once we get through their internal processes," McCrae said. "It's a big payer organisation."

Orion shares, which listed at $5.70 in the firm's 2014 initial public offering, gained 4.2 per cent to close at $3.25 last night.

McCrae said the technology would give the insurer's provider partners access to patient records from all the healthcare facilities at which members had received care.

"Hospitals and other healthcare providers that partner with the insurer will have all the patient data they require at their fingertips to enable superior, co-ordinated care for its members," he said.

McCrae said the Amadeus platform was chosen by the insurer due to its ability to store patient health information, such as clinical and claims data, and deliver it to healthcare professionals in real time.

Meanwhile, he said the 36 US redundancies, slightly less than 10 per cent of its staff in that country, was the result of a drive for "efficiencies" in the business.

"We're able to deliver and install our software with fewer people these days -- a project which might have taken four months now takes four hours," McCrae said.

Last month, Orion announced another agreement with US IT health company Cognizant Group.

- NZ Herald

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