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Good Luck With That HIE Tech Purchase

Posted on June 21, 2012 I Written By

Anne Zieger is a healthcare journalist who has written about the industry for 30 years. Her work has appeared in all of the leading healthcare industry publications, and she's served as editor in chief of several healthcare B2B sites.

Want to buy HIE technology?  It’ll cost you. But more importantly, you’ll still be dealing with a bewildering array of choices, if a new report from KLAS has it right.

According to KLAS, which asked 95 providers about their HIE buying plans, there were a few clear leaders in the field.  Providers surveyed by KLAS reviewed 38 HIE vendor offerings.  Of those, five HIE vendors were considered in more than 10 percent of the providers’ buying plans, researchers found.

If there was a clear leader, it was Medicity, which was considered in 23 percent of HIE buying decisions, according to a report from Healthcare IT News.  Next was Axolotl, with 22 percent; RelayHealth, with 16  percent; ICA, with 11 percent, and Epic, also with 11 percent. (Note: Epic was only being considered seriously when providers want to tie together multiple Epic installations.)

Looked at another way — by vendors mentioned most frequently by providers — the leaders were Axolotl, Cerner, dbMotion (part owned by the University of Pittburgh Medical Center), Epic, GE, ICA, InterSystems, Medicity, Orion and RelayHealth.

If you want to really fit the HIE to your situation, consider the following criteria, the HIN story suggests:

  • Public HIEs – A public exchange may belong to official state agencies or may be semi-independent with direct and typically temporary government backing. Public HIEs demand solutions with strong potential scalability and need standards-based technology.
  • Cooperative HIEs – In this model, otherwise-competitive hospitals work together to form independent HIE organizations, generally with an open invitation to other hospitals, clinics and physician practices. These HIEs often struggle to establish long-term funding and look for vendor solutions that offer flexible and affordable cost alternatives while best adapting diverse EMR technologies.
  • Private HIEs – In some respects, private HIEs are designed to enhance relationships as well as exchange data. Often, a single hospital or IDN creates an HIE hoping to draw in community physicians while protecting or increasing revenues. Funding is less complicated and these HIEs are more likely to be satisfied with solutions that best work with their existing technology.

The truth is, though, that whatever model best fits your HIE purchase, narrowing things down to your short-list isn’t as easy as just picking from KLAS’s top contenders.  Even these leaders have a moderate to tenuous grip on the market, and may or may not have the solution that fits your model. (Note: I’m familiar with Axolotl and Orion, both of which have what may be some of the longest-deployed tech out there, but I can’t vouch that they’re exactly better than anyone else.)

If it were me, I’d look at lesser-known, strongly-backed folks focused directly on the problem. Then, I’d do a co-development program with them so both win.  Got other ideas to share readers?

Ingenix Acquires HIE Provider Axolotl

Posted on August 16, 2010 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

It seems like it’s the season of acquisitions for healthcare companies. I’ve been predicting the need for EMR consolidation for a while now, but we have yet to really see that happening. Instead this acquisition by Ingenix is entrance into the HIE space. Here’s a section of the press release:

Ingenix, a leading health information technology and services company, today announced it is acquiring Axolotl, a leading provider of health information exchange (HIE) services. The combined company will enable health information to be shared effectively and securely for the benefit of patients and health care professionals. The Axolotl management team will remain in place and will lead Ingenix’s efforts in health care community connectivity.

Seems like all the major EMR players are finding an HIE product they can offer as well. I guess it makes sense for an EHR provider to also be able to offer an HIE product. Although, it makes even more sense if the EHR provider had a large footprint in a certain area. Most EHR providers have installs all over the US that they aren’t as much of a benefit to HIE software that they could be. In fact, I’m surprised how few local contracts many EMR vendors are able to win. You’d think proximity would help, but I’ve seen a few cases where it actually hurt the provider.

As far as HIE, it will be even more interesting to see what happens with the HIE software once the government subsidies run out. Can anyone say RHIO? Oh wait, no one remembers what they are….hmmm…maybe that’s a sign of things to come. Of course, there’s a lot of big name companies that will be trying to make the HIE story a different one.