According to a new report from New York-based market research publisher Kalorama Information, the fastest growing segment in the EMR market is web-based solutions, sold over the internet, mainly to private, office-based physicians. Overall, sales of EMRs to physicians grew at an estimated 22 percent from 2010 to 2011, higher than the growth of EMR sales to hospital systems.
The report, EMR 2012: The Market for Electronic Medical Records, which found increasing physician acceptance and sales results of EMRs, including for specialist firms such as eClinicalWorks, E-MD, NextGen, and Practice Fusion.
"Some of these smaller companies have been branding for years and dominating Google searches, so even in the physician and web-based EMR market there will be some challenge for startups to launch," Bruce Carlson, publisher of Kalorama Information, said in a statement. "It's likely that a new entrant would need to find a niche or better address usability issues."
Large competitors are also doing quite fine selling to physician based offices, according to Kalorama information, including GE Healthcare, Cerner, Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Epic, and McKesson. Overall, physicians will likely drive growth as it is part of the market where new entrants can realistically stake a claim, Carson said. He said it takes infrastructure and legacy relationships to support hospital conversion.
The revenue growth occurs at the same time as increased physician usage. Statistics from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS) indicate that 56.9 percent of office-based physicians used partial or full EMR systems in 2011, an increase from 2010. More than $1.3 billion in Medicare EHR Incentive Program payments were made between May 2011 and the end of December 2011, and more than $1.1 billion in Medicaid EHR Incentive Program payments have been made between January 2011 and the end of December 2011.