A new report from Orem, Utah-based KLAS Research finds that practice management (PM) solutions vendors are struggling to provide consistent experience across practice size.
To find the right practice management solution for their organization, large (over 75 physicians) and midsize (11–75 physicians) ambulatory practices need to know which vendors can meet their specific support, functionality, customization, and integration needs, the KLAS researchers wrote. “The larger the practice, the more complex those needs are—how do the solutions perform for each practice size, and which are best able to handle the increased intricacy of larger practices?”
The report also looked at unsatisfied customers among the different vendors, specifically looking at physician practices with more than 75 physicians. Among Cerner’s customers, 63 percent described themselves as “planning to leave, considering leaving, stuck, unsatisfied.”
KLAS authors Aaron Gleave and Alex McIntosh note that though Cerner customers report the highest rates of optimism for the future, Cerner also has the lowest number of satisfied customers.
“Cerner’s 2016 overall score (for which there was limited data) was low and has declined further as Cerner has failed to meet providers’ needs for a functional PM product. Major pain points for customers include increased A/R days, inaccurate reporting, nickel-and-diming, and the need to create workarounds to deal with functionality gaps. In addition, insufficient staffing has led to delayed go-lives and difficult implementations, and the support staff lacks knowledge and is slow to resolve issues.”
What’s more Gleave and McIntosh also wrote that almost two-thirds of interviewed customers say that Cerner does not keep their promises to improve the system or develop the needed functionality.
Among large practices, Epic far outperforms all other PM vendors in overall satisfaction, the report states. “Providers feel the system is worth the monetary investment, and they report very little nickel-and-diming. Provider satisfaction is consistently very high, with few users citing negative experiences or product shortcomings,” the report authors wrote.
The report also notes that NextGen Healthcare provides a highly functional, highly customizable PM product that is stable and easy to use. “NextGen’s support and relationships, however, have historically been erratic. Currently, larger customers report that they are receiving more proactive support, closer executive involvement, and better communication regarding NextGen’s vision for the future. These changes have contributed to significant improvements in larger customers’ satisfaction in many areas, and providers are optimistic that they will receive needed development and functionality going forward,” the authors wrote, while also noting that some would like more robust reporting capabilities.
Looking at athenahealth, the report authors contend that the vendor has long held a reputation in the industry as being the g old standard for practice management. athenahealth is 2017’s Best in KLAS PM system for practices with 11–75 physicians, however, KLAS researchers also that many large practices that have shared feedback with KLAS over multiple years have become less satisfied with athenahealth over time. “About one-quarter of athenahealth’s larger customers plan to leave, many due to the system’s inability to be customized for their complex billing needs. Specialty practices also run into difficulty with the lack of customization options,” the report authors wrote.
Additionally, the report authors note that GE Healthcare provides a “mature, stable practice management solution that users describe as highly functional and flexible for the needs of larger practices.” Despite the system’s strengths, about one-third of larger customers are leaving, mostly due to the system’s lack of true clinical integration, the authors wrote, also noting, “While GE Healthcare claims the system is integrated with the EMR, customers say the systems are interfaced rather than truly integrated.”