Rapid Escalation of Practice Acquisitions Drives Hospital Systems to Merge Hosts of Physician Technology Platforms by 2021, Black Book Survey

Fully Integrated EHR and Practice Management IT tackle value-based care goals of Integrated Health Delivery Systems.

Highly functional, highly customizable integrated practice management, revenue cycle management and electronic health records systems are the sought-after solution of choice for thirty-six percent of hospital system executives, according to the Black Book’s annual practice management satisfaction surveying of over 3,000 hospital-owned or employed physician practice organizations.

Forty percent of large hospital systems respondents report their organizations are budgeting to replace multiple existing medical practice systems to elevate their IDN practices with consolidated and integrated ambulatory technologies that complement and inter-operate with the hospital’s EHR and RCM systems by Q4 2020.

“In a healthcare system dominated by large, integrated health care delivery organizations, centralized administrations are moving to achieve harmonized electronic health records, reimbursement systems and quality measures,” said Doug Brown, Managing Partner of Black Book Research.

“With over fifty percent of US doctors receiving their pay directly or indirectly from a hospital system organization, CFOs and CIOs are seeing the value-based care model potential, reimbursement improvements and resources expenditure savings to be gained by implementing a fully integrated healthcare information technology system,” said Brown.

Healthcare payment models are becoming more complex and the pace of change is increasingly creating challenges for health systems and their ability to improve the quality and efficiency of medical care. Eighty-five percent of IDN executives surveyed believe that the alignment of hospital and physician IT meets the challenges of evolving accountable care and value-based payment models.

Eighty-nine percent of hospital executive respondents state non-integrated EHR and current practice management systems do not allow leaders to strategically design alternative reimbursement and payment methodologies that will improve physician engagement and advance patient care.

“The trend to seek consolidated clinical and financial platforms across inpatient departments and ambulatory practices is being led by large, integrated delivery networks and hospital systems because insurance-mandated and government-mandated payment policies favor large health systems,“ said Brown. “Physician practices IT costs continue to rise as operating expenses practices increases at nearly the same pace as revenues. Hospital IDNs can quickly determine processes to cut workflow delays and resource costs, maximize scheduling and utilization, and maintain clinical quality through enhanced capabilities of integrated EHR, practice management and RCM.”

Nearly 3,000 users of integrated hospital and physician EHR, revenue cycle management tools, and practice management platforms concluded that Allscripts was the most highly recommended integrated Hospital/Ambualtory/Physician EHR, PM, RCM solution for integrated health systems and networks, as scoring highest in 11 of 18 key performance indicators. Also scoring better than over 149 EHR systems with PM or RCM functionalities were GE Healthcare, Cerner, athenahealth and CPSI.  Underperforming in the same survey set with decreasing scores, year-to-year were Greenway, MEDHOST, eClinicalWorks and NextGen,

Other survey findings include:

Hospital-owned and employed physician Practices on an integrated EHR, PM, RCM platform actually collect, on average, twenty-nine percent more on billed charges than do independent practice physicians with non-integrated or unconnected EHR RCM platforms.

Ninety percent of hospital networks achieved greater scheduling satisfaction within two months of implementing the capabilities of integrated PM.

Seventy-seven percent of hospital systems clinical administrators seek standardized treatment plans, assessments and progress notes to monitor system-wide by the end of 2020.

Ninety-two percent of respondents seek integrated EHR solutions to allow IDN administrators and clinical team leaders to monitor and analyze provider performance across the system.

Ninety-four percent of physician practice manager respondents agree that interoperability and coordinated information flows between physician practices and hospital department reduces the time and resources spent as compared to when providers were unconnected and disparate practice software.

“The most compelling reason for a hospital system to select a fully integrated practice management solution rests in the paybacks from not having to juggle multiple software platforms across dozens or even hundreds of physicians,” said Brown.

Complex organizational structures allow seamless coordination between departments and locations in areas such as staffing, scheduling, billing, claims processing, patient engagement and inventory management all maximizing the potential return on investment.

Hospitals also aim to correct the disengaged practices that still aren’t optimizing advanced EHR tools such as patient engagement, secure messaging, decision support and electronic data sharing.

Ninety-three percent of all sized medical and surgical practices with an installed, functional system are using the three basic EHR tools frequently or always: data repository, order entry and results review.

When it comes to the use of advanced features, namely: Electronic Messaging, Clinical Decision Support, Interoperability, Data Sharing and Patient Engagement, twenty-seven percent of hospital-acquired small practices are failing to optimize and/or reap any integrated platform benefits in 2018.

The results of the 2018 Black Book Integrated Ambulatory Systems including electronic health records, coding, revenue cycle management and practice management capabilities based on 18 key performance indicators of vendor performance and client experience are announced.

1. Allscripts

2. GE Healthcare

3. Cerner

4. athenahealth

5. CPSI (Evident & Healthland)

6. McKesson


8. AdvancedMD

9. Epic Systems

10. Harris Healthcare

11. Marshfield Clinic IT

12. Source Medical

13. Greenway

14. CureMD


16. SRS Soft

17. eClinicalWorks

18. NextGen

19. Aprima

20. Azalea Health

Full Results are available at http://blackbookmarketresearch.com/ambulatory-physician-ehr

About Black Book

Black Book™, its founders, management and staff do not own or hold any financial interest in any of the vendors covered and encompassed in the surveys it conducts. Black Book reports the results of the collected satisfaction and client experience rankings in publication and to media prior to vendor notification of rating results and does not solicit vendor participation fees, review fees, inclusion or briefing charges and/or vendor collaboration as Black Book polls vendors’ clients.

Since 2000, Black Book™ has polled the vendor satisfaction across over 30 industries in the software and services sectors around the globe. Black Book’s mission is to improve healthcare delivery by expanding the stakeholder's voice from the front-line employee, IT and financial managers, clinical and nursing staff through the C-suite and board, as well as healthcare consumers.

For methodology, auditing, resources, comprehensive research and ranking data, see http://www.blackbookmarketresearch.com or contact TNBrown@BlackBookMarketResearch.com 

Source: Black Book Research