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Industry Insight

Edifecs Clears Interoperability Hurdle

Edifecs, a global HIT solutions company, recently unveiled the results of the company’s recent participation at FHIR Connectathon 8. At Connectathon 8, Edifecs was the only company to present interoperability spanning EMR system and external partners, such as payer systems.

To demonstrate cross-enterprise interoperability between payers and providers, Edifecs leveraged Open EMR, Edifecs XEServer, and a third-party Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resource (FHIR) server. As part of the demonstration, the Edifecs team successfully converted continuity of care document to a FHIR Patient Resource with integration to Open EMR. In the simple but important demonstration, Edifecs was able to show that investments by the industry in CDA R.2 constructs can be leveraged and made interoperable using FHIR Resources without a major rewrite of interfaces and native EMR functionality.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information, provider industry groups, and even Congress are putting pressure on HIT and EMR vendors to make data more shareable. Interoperability and the ability to share and consolidate data across the care continuum are critical to achieving Triple Aim. The only way to achieve this interoperability at scale is by implementing industry standards. As a result, it is likely that FHIR will be included in future standards, such as meaningful use stage 3.

FHIR is gaining significant traction in the HIT space with support from leaders like John D. Halamka and Micky Tripathi. In December 2014, Chuck Jaffe announced The Argonaut Project, an effort to accelerate FHIR. Cerner, Epic, Meditech, athenahealth, McKesson, The Advisory Board, and several provider organizations have agreed to provide funding and political backing to ensure that HL7 implementation guides for FHIR are available by May 2015.

“To carry our industry forward, we must walk hand-in-hand. By that, I mean partnerships are crucial, and at the crux of them is interoperability,” says Sunny Singh, president and CEO of Edifecs. “The potential cost savings achieved from industry standards and better interoperability are in the billions of dollars. We are singularly focused on building the pathways to these partnerships to realize these efficiencies and help fix our health care system.”

Interoperability and the associated costs and complexity have hampered the ability to create and scale payer/provider partnerships and are the biggest barrier to creating accountable care organizations. There is a widely held belief that payers and providers have conflicting interests and are reluctant to work together, but both groups need and want to share data to drive payment reform and deliver better and more affordable care. Edifecs is helping solve this challenge by developing cost-effective ways to converge the clinical and administrative data streams in health care, thereby creating tangible, measurable value in support of collaborative payer/provider partnerships.

— Source: Edifecs


Report Projects 2015 Health Care Technology Spending

A new online report predicts where American hospitals will spend billions on health care technology in 2015. The report from market research platform company peer60 received feedback from decision makers at 25% of American hospitals. The research found nearly 60% of hospitals will address ICD-10 migration in 2015, while more than one-half of hospitals will purchase population health management solutions.

“Spurred on by new regulation and increasing competition, health care technology is advancing rapidly,” says peer60 CEO Jeremy Bikman. “This report shows exactly where billions are going to be spent by American hospitals in 2015, both to comply with government mandates and to better compete in this rapidly changing marketplace.”

The report was compiled based on a survey of nearly 1,000 hospital decision makers representing purchase decisions for more than 1,400 American hospitals. More than 80% of respondents are hospital C-level executives with the remainder being other decision makers, such as vice presidents and directors. Participants listed the following solution areas they intend to purchase in 2015: EHRs, data analytics, ICD-10 migration, patient engagement population health management, revenue cycle management, and data security.

Respondents described which vendors they are considering for any solution they intend to purchase. This allowed peer60 to project existing market share and mindshare for 2015 purchases. A significant number of vendors are detailed in this report, including McKesson, Allscripts, Epic, Cerner, MEDITECH, The Advisory Board Company, athenahealth, Caradigm, Health Catalyst, MEDHOST, and Cisco.

The full report is available at no cost and can be downloaded at www.peer60.com/research/2015-purchasing/.

— Source: peer60


Kareo Acquires DoctorBase

Kareo, a provider of cloud-based software and services for independent medical practices, recently announced the acquisition of DoctorBase, a practice marketing and patient communications solution. The deal complements Kareo’s existing offerings, which enable health care providers and their staff to successfully meet the business challenges associated with a rapidly changing health care market.

DoctorBase is an innovator in the emerging category of practice marketing and patient communications technology. The company’s offering helps doctors find new patients, foster their loyalty, and manage existing relationships. Features offered by DoctorBase to help physicians achieve these goals include reputation management, online booking, appointment reminders, patient recall capabilities, and mobile secure messaging. DoctorBase serves thousands of providers practicing in more than 30 medical specialties across 42 states.

“By adding DoctorBase’s innovative solutions to the Kareo platform, independent medical practices will have the tools they need to attract new patients and manage relationships with existing patients—keeping them ahead of competition such as large health systems and retail clinics,” says Dan Rodrigues, CEO of Kareo. “We’re excited that our solutions combined with DoctorBase’s functionality will provide patients with conveniences they have come to expect in other parts of their lives, such as online appointment booking and e-mail and text appointment reminders.”

The combined Kareo and DoctorBase solution will allow patients to find a doctor, book an appointment online, and receive automated appointment reminders through their preferred communications channel, including phone, e-mail, or text messages. During the actual visit, the practice captures the patient’s medical information and facilitates payment. After the visit, patients will receive automated communication, including a patient satisfaction survey and a request to rate the physician online, as well as encouragement for patients to share their experience through social media sites such as Yelp and Google Local. The technology will also continue to nurture the patient over time through targeted communication to receive follow-up care, such as an annual physical.

Practices can continue to purchase the practice marketing and patient communications features direct from DoctorBase with no change in pricing. Kareo will launch a limited availability, lightly integrated release early in the second quarter with plans toward deeper integration with the Kareo solution in the second half of the year.

— Source: Kareo