PE-backed W2O buys Discern Health

W2O, which is backed by New Mountain Capital, has acquired Discern Health, a healthcare consultancy based in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore.

W2O, which is backed by New Mountain Capital, has acquired Discern Health, a healthcare consultancy based in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore. No financial terms were disclosed.


San Francisco and Baltimore, July 28, 2020 – W2O, the leading independent provider of analytics-driven, technology-enabled marketing and communications solutions to the healthcare sector, today announced the acquisition of Discern Health. This health economics and outcomes research (HEOR) consulting firm provides strategic direction and policy solutions to life sciences companies, government and nonprofit agencies, and health insurers.

Discern Health counsels leading healthcare organizations on the performance measures and innovative payment models that shape the market for their products and services. Discern Health also works closely with organizations to strengthen and quantify clinical and real-world evidence strategies that inform ongoing market access and commercialization initiatives. Discern Health’s staff previously held roles within leading organizations including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the National Quality Forum (NQF), and the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). Discern has offices in Baltimore and Washington, D.C., further expanding W2O’s presence with now nearly 100 people dedicated to these increasingly important health policy arenas.

“Value-based care is a key driver of health system change,” said Guy D’Andrea, Founder and Managing Partner of Discern Health. “To be successful, health care companies need to integrate value-based strategy into each level of their organization and each stage of product development.”

“We’ve been working with W2O over the past year and have gotten to know each other well,” added Tom Valuck, M.D., J.D., Partner at Discern Health. “Being part of the W2O team means that we can supercharge our capabilities and incorporate world-class analytics and insights into our work, bringing even greater resources to our clients and, ultimately, improving patient outcomes.”

This is the sixth acquisition W2O has completed since the company announced its partnership with New Mountain Capital just over a year ago. W2O’s approach to growth is to add experts and capabilities that its clients recommend. This approach continues to strengthen W2O’s offerings and positions the company as a go-to partner of choice to help clients accelerate clinical trials, achieve commercial success, and navigate and engage all their stakeholders in an increasingly virtual, social and digital post-COVID-19 pandemic reality.

“Value-based metrics, the continued need for real-world data integration, and the changing landscape of federal, state and international health policy in the face of the COVID-19 crisis are impacting healthcare faster than ever before,” said Rita Glaze, Practice Leader, Commercial Strategy and Market Access at W2O. “Our clients need ongoing evidence-generation strategies that mirror the market dynamics they are facing, along with up-to-the-minute insights and counsel. This information is vital to guide policy positions and commercial decisions that will unlock maximum value for their products, solutions and services. With Discern Health as part of our organization, we will continue to raise the quality and depth of our data and analytics offering, to ensure it stands up to the scrutiny of peer and government review. We will truly be #BetterTogether.”

The Discern team will operate under W2O’s single, integrated profit and loss (P&L) operation, with access to all of W2O’s proprietary data models and tools as well as its 1,400 person strong multidisciplinary team – including data analysts, scientific strategists, branding experts, communications specialists and creatives – to build unfair advantage for clients and their brands. Additionally, the Discern leadership team will remain the same.

About W2O
Founded by Jim Weiss in 2001 and built on an ethos of entrepreneurship, staying fluid and doing the right thing, W2O has achieved 18 years of uninterrupted growth while remaining fiercely independent. W2O is an alchemic mix of 1,400 people and hundreds of clients and partners – working from bench to bedside – to make the world a healthier place.

Driven by data, W2O applies proprietary analytics and best-in-class technology to build insights that power creative ideas and concepts. W2O seeks to become the partner of choice to empower optimal healthcare knowledge, access and outcomes – now and in the future.
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