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In The News

Sutter Invests $8.15 Million in Telehealth Company MDLive

Sutter Health, one of Northern California's biggest health care systems, invested $8.15 million in MDLive, a national Sunrise, Fla.-based telehealth company.

Sutter's investment is part of a $23.6 million investment round that also included the Heritage Healthcare Innovation Fund, a venture fund created by a number of health care organizations including Tenet Healthcare, Intermountain Healthcare,Trinity Health, Community Health Systems,Cardinal Health and Memorial Hermann Healthcare.

Another major system, Sentara Healthcare, invested in MDLive in 2012, according to a Jan. 22 statement.

The $23.6 million constitutes about 10 percent of the company's shares, Sutter said.

MDLive provides telehealth services to consumers, employers, health plans, hospitals and physician groups, including non-emergency phone, email and videoconference access to board-certified doctors. Many self-funded employers and health plans provide access as a covered benefit, officials said.

"Our investment in MDLive is a prudent and important part of providing communities we serve with more services through digital engagement with health care providers,"Pat Fry, Sutter's president and CEO, said in the statement.

Sutter said the new service isn't meant to supplant a patient's primary care doctor, but can provide after-hours care, care for patients who don't have a primary care physician, or people with a non-emergency but time-sensitive issue.

Sacramento-based Sutter operates many of the Bay Area's largest hospitals and medical groups, including California Pacific Medical Center, Mills-Peninsula Medical Center,Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Eden Medical Center, and the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, among others.

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