About.com Acquires Comparison Health Site

Demonstrating the depth of health information available online, About.com has acquired UCompareHealthCare.com, a site that provides consumers with access to ratings and related information on hospitals, nursing homes, mammography centers, fertility clinics and doctors. Terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

Founded in 2004, UCompareHealthCare.com compiles information from hundreds of sources to serve as the foundation for detailed reports intended to help consumers make more informed decisions about healthcare providers.

About.com, part of The New York Times Company, has been drilling deeper and deeper into the health category. Content on its health section is overseen by a medical director and a five-person medical review board. It is authored by approximately 80 Health Guides with plans to increase its coverage in areas such as neurology, women's health, arthritis, oncology, gastroenterology and heart disease in 2007.

And the efforts appear to be paying off. Page-views for About.com Health were up an estimated 78% in February 2007 versus the same month last year, according to Nielsen//NetRatings. The site attracts approximately 5 million unique users each month. In addition, last year, About.com's revenues rose approximately 50%.

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The physician reports offered by UCHC cover training, education, specialty, certification, location of practice and other matters of interest. Its hospital reports provide Inpatient Quality Indicators and Patient Safety Indicators, as well as other information on specific conditions, procedures and services offered.

The site's Decision Assistant identifies quality measures relevant to specialty care provided by a hospital. Finally, nursing home reports include information on services offered, number of beds, number of nurses, quality measures, and inspection results.

"UCHC's wealth of information on the quality of local health providers, combined with About.com's deep condition and wellness content, helps us to create one of the most robust consumer online health experiences available," said Marjorie Martin, general manager, About.com Health.

UCHC's founder, Mark Donnelly, and its staff have become employees of About.com. Donnelly will now report to Martin.

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