Tag: EHR vendors

Numbers Don’t Lie — The EHR Market Must Consolidate

According to CMS, through May of this year, 2,400 hospitals and 110,000 eligible professionals have received $5.7 billion in incentive payments for ensuring meaningful use of electronic health records, representing about half of all eligible hospitals and about 20% of all eligible providers.

Despite this widespread adoption EHRs, reliable market share data by vendor is still very hard to come by.  So, when CMS recently updated its attestation data for midyear 2012, we took notice.  Attestation, remember, is the process by which practitioners legally verify that they have used an EHR in way that merits one of those incentive payments.  The data set includes more than 77,000 different attestations from 2011 through May of 2012 (note that it is not immediately clear why the data set has different totals than the CMS press release).

The sheer number of options for hospitals and providers stood out to us immediately.  There are 405 separate EHR vendors that hospitals or providers have used to attest to meaningful use, with 336 of these providing ambulatory EHR products.  It’s worth pausing here to note that by our count of the data found on the CMS Certified Health IT Product List, there are more than 550 separate ambulatory vendors with complete EHRs approved by CMS, meaning that despite the huge number of options, there were still well over 200 approved ambulatory vendors that have not had a single user qualify for an incentive payment yet!

Despite this enormous number of options, users attesting were fairly concentrated in the top vendors.  Of these 336, the top 15 vendors represented 75% of all providers attesting.  On the inpatient side, this concentration was even more pronounced, with the top 6 representing 75% of the total hospital attestations.

When we organize and dig into the data, a few other points stand out.

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HIT Trends Summary for April 2011

This is a summary of the HIT Trends report for April 2011.  You can get the current issue or subscribe here.

Europe. European progress reports on HIT show us that it’s evolving along many similar lines to current US efforts.  One report highlights beacons of e-prescribing in Sweden and Estonia where scripts are stored centrally and available from any pharmacy.  European states are also pursuing funding national centers of excellence in HIT. They are implementing EMR-like systems mostly less comprehensive than the US (34 countries); telehealth, most notably in the UK; and ID cards (24 countries).  Governments are funding and because of that, also assessing results.

There are also success stories in cross-border health information exchange on a new website that gives us a comprehensive view into European HIE activities.  There’s a report by the European standards community exploring barriers to personal health device interoperability, an issue that is holding back the world’s telehealth market.  And CSC announced it is buying iSOFT, a subcontractor that’s been struggling, in hopes of faster progress in the UK’s National Programme for IT.

Incentives. Provider incentives have been in the news.  CMS released a report on its quality (PQRI/PQRS) and e-prescribing (MIPPA) incentive programs for 2009 with providers earning $5,000 on average.  Disincentives for the e-prescribing program begin in 2012 and the quality program in 2015.  Quality data will be available over time on the CMS Physician Compare website.Continue reading…