Healtheon was a dot-com startup company, created in Silicon Valley by Dr. James H. Clark. Healtheon's business plan was to streamline the inefficiency that encumbers the United States health care system. They developed software that essentially placed their company between physicians, patients, and health care institutions, eliminating unnecessary paperwork and facilitating networking and communication amongst the three.


Founded in 1996, Healtheon attempted an initial IPO in July, 1998. This share offering failed miserably, largely due to the bursting of the dot-com "bubble" that same summer. In early 1999, once venture capitalists resumed their enthusiastic support of technology IPOs, Healtheon attempted a second IPO, and succeeded fantastically, due largely to the reputation of founder James Clark. Healtheon's IPO consisted of 5 million shares priced at $8 each. With initial demand for over 40 million shares, Healtheon's price rose over 400% on the first day of trading; it was one of the most successful IPOs to date.

In 1999, Microsoft-backed WebMD emerged as a serious competitor to Healtheon. The two merged in late 1999, to become Healtheon/WebMD, but the company operates largely under the sole brand of WebMD today.

The story of the founding of this company can be found in Michael Lewis' "The New New Thing."

External links

* [ WebMD]

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