EHRS 4 U
According to news reports this week, despite fierce competition and many new players, EHR prices are rising and good opportunities remain for smaller EHR companies.
A report in EMRandHIPAA.com, “EHR Incentive Inflates EHR Pricing,” notes that EHR pricing has firmed in recent years. Many EHR vendors are pegging their price to the EHR incentive program.
“The norm 6+ years ago was for an EMR for a small clinical practice to cost somewhere in the $30,000 range. For a larger group practice they were easily paying $100,000-200,000 for their EHR software.
“In those early years, we started to see a wave of mostly SaaS EHR software enter the market at a much lower price point. In most cases they were offering their EHR software for a small monthly fee (usually around $350-500/doctor). Of course at this same time a number of Free EHR software entered the market as well. Both of these entrances forced the price of EMR software to decrease dramatically.”
Since the meaningful use incentive program began,
“The new bar for EMR pricing was set at $44k over 5 years. You can be certain that every EHR vendor has looked at their EHR pricing and compared it to the $44k over 5 years.
“EHR incentive is creating an artificial pricing bubble, but eventually the incentive money will run out and I expect a number of EHR vendors to drop their price when that happens.”
A separate report in Modern Healthcare says that “many opportunities remain for smaller EHR vendors.”
The article discusses a KLAS report which found that
“Provider consideration for vendors outside the 11 most-considered solutions has increased in the past year from 49% to 64%. The lesser-known vendors are being considered 64% of the time and closing 31% of sales.”
“Larger practices are seeing heavy replacement activity, with many first-time buyers in the smaller practices. With the exception of very small practices, physician usability, vendor support and integration are trumping the cost card in most decisions.”
This is good news for the many smaller vendors and there are certainly many to choose from. The article notes that there are now 613 unique EHR products for the ambulatory market on the official ONC certified health IT product list. That does not include hundreds of EHRs or EHR support products (e.g. eRx, audit, security) that are not certified for MU, but are competing for the physician market.