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CPA Comment on EMR Pricing

Posted on October 10, 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.

In response to my previous post about possibly creating an EMR pricing comparison website, I got a really interesting set of comments from a CPA who’s been assisting their clients in their EMR selection process. You might laugh at the idea of a CPA participating in the EMR selection process. Interestingly, the CPA that I use has also been asked by their clients about the EMR stimulus money and so they were grateful they could ask me some questions.

This aside, I found this person’s comments interesting. I think they also illustrate some of the challenges in EMR pricing and some of the thirst for EMR pricing also. I removed some identifying information and some other comments about EMR and HIPAA. Otherwise, the comments are in tact.

I have been pondering trying to do some sort of price comparison myself, and you’re right, they all differ so it’s tough to just do one basic comparison chart. I’ve seen already how some have things all bundled (ie.Athena, and others do it in separate modules can add on – ie. Greenway)

I have featured remote demo’s for clients to listen/view through our firm so they can avoid the vendor pressure… I thought I would try to get info on others for comparison purposes, but in keeping with the theme… it is just not that easy.

There are a few challenging items for comparison purposes, one of them being support and related costs.
The support/training is many times where the wheels fall off the well-intentioned EMR wagons.
You just don’t seem to get an answer or know the true support/training costs until you have already tied the knot with your new EMR system. If you could get more comparative info on that aspect, that would be very helpful – or better yet, come up with an EMR Pre-Nup.

Another toughy is the interfacing costs
From what I hear a [EMR Vendor] system may charge $30k to interface with another EMR vendor.
The vendors call that “not playing nicely”.
So tack on another layer of subjective complexity to your pricing project.

And yet another cost factor I’ve noticed is what EMR system an affiliated hospital is getting preferred pricing on. There is a hospital by us in an arrangement with [EMR Vendor], and of course advising the outside practice physicians to use the same. I am not to thrilled with this idea, I think there are better products that are not spread so thin in so many markets.

I mention the patient portal separately below as some of my clients don’t seem quite ready for that yet.
They view it as another task and feel could attack it once get the EMR running smoothly.
I know they need it for MU [Stage 1 doesn’t require this, but future stages probably will], but they seem to want that a little later than sooner.

In any case, I think some possible approaches for a comparative pricing schematic would be to have different scenarios:
a) 1-5 Docs & Midlevel providers /Web Hosted/ EMR only/ PM Interface/ No Patient Portal
b) 1-5 Docs & Midlevel providers /Web Hosted/ EMR only/ PM Interface/ With Patient Portal
c) 1-5 Docs & Midlevel providers /Web Hosted/ EMR & PM Bundled/ No Patient Portal
d) 1-5 Docs & Midlevel providers /Web Hosted/ EMR & PM Bundled/ With Patient Portal
e) 1-5 Docs & Midlevel providers /Web Hosted/ EMR & PM Bundled/ With Revenue Cycle Mgt/ With Patient Portal

Real Participation in RHIO and HIE

Posted on November 28, 2009 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.

Everyone seems to love talking about RHIO, HIE and all of the other various initiatives happening around sharing patient health information amongst doctors. This weekend, I want to open it up to you the readers to get an idea of what type of participation you’ve had in an RHIO, HIE or other clinical data exchange.

Are you participating in one now? Do you like it? Do you hate it? In fact, what do you like and what do you hate? Do you use an EMR to interface with the exchange? What’s the interface like? How much work is it to manage the interface?

I’d also be interested in hearing about people who are working through the process now. Where are you at in the process? What’s holding you up from making this happen?

Let’s help educate each other on what’s happening with something that I think we can all universally agree is important and INCREDIBLY challenging.

EMR Interfaces Are Like Kids

Posted on June 3, 2009 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.

When implementing an EMR you are very likely to also implement an EMR interface. The most common type of EMR interface is with your lab, but you might also have an interface with radiology, pharmacy, vital machines, ekg machines, spirometry machines, etc. The fact is that you are very likely to run into an interface in the process of implementing an EHR.

Interfaces with your EMR software are your very best friends, but also can be incredibly frustrating. Sounds a lot like my children. Here’s a short list of ways that EMR interfaces are like kids:

  • Some people just know they want one, but others debate getting one all together. In the end, most people end up with one.
  • They often will cost to implement and also cost (time if nothing else) to maintain.
  • A lot of time is spent at the beginning taking care of the interface and making sure that it’s working properly.
  • Most people love them and can’t imagine life without them.
  • When they work your life is wonderful, when they don’t you wonder why you got one in the first place.
  • They cause you serious headaches and usually those headaches happen at the very worst times.

Ok, so it’s not a perfect analogy, but I think this feeling about interfaces is shared by most people involved in them.  All of this said, I think our interface with our lab is one of the best reasons to use an EMR.  It’s so seamless and beautiful to see the orders get sent and the results returned with the lab signed off electronically.