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Survey: Volatility in Small Practice EHR/RCM Market

June 8, 2015
by Gabriel Perna
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There is a lot of opportunity and volatility in the small practice electronic health record (EHR) and revenue cycle management (RCM) vendor market, according to a new study from the New York-based Black Book research. 
Black Book researchers conducted a survey of end users, including healthcare records professionals, physician practice administrators, and ambulatory group leaders. They found that 84 percent of all physician practices agree their billing and collections systems/processes need upgrading. Moreover, 86 percent of small practices aim to integrate physician practice management, billing services and EHR into a single vendor solution if possible by 2017. All but eight percent of those seeking an RCM upgrade or system change out are only considering an EHR centric module.
"Revenue cycle management and integrated EHR vendor loyalty among small practice EHR physician practices is still on a significant upward trajectory,” Doug Brown, Black Book's Managing Partner, said in a statement. "The EHR/practice billing vendor's abilities to meet the evolving demands of interoperability, networking, mobile devices, accountable care, patient accessibility, customization for specialty workflow, and reimbursement are the main factors that the replacement mentality and late adoption remain volatile especially among solo and small practices."
Brown adds that 70 percent of smaller and solo practice physicians have not settled on a technology product that delivers to their expectations on meaningful use, clinician usability, and coordinated billing and claims. Thus, he says, there is a "relentlessly moving EHR marketplace.” Seventy-eight percent of small practices say they under-utilize their billing/practice management software. 
The one vendor that seems to have it figured it out, the top-ranked vendor integrating EHRs and billing software for small practices,  is Kareo (San Francisco). Other top performing vendors integrating clinical and billing data: ADP AdvancedMD, athenahealth, Greenway, HealthFusion, McKesson and NexTech.

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