Meaningful Use Attestation Data Points to Future Vendor Success/Failure

CMS just released the December 2012 attestation data, and one thing is abundantly clear—many EHR vendors will not be around to see Stage 2.

Of the 472 EHR vendors offering certified “Complete EHRs” in early 2012, many lacked even a single physician who had attested to meaningful use by the end of the year. And while it is not surprising that large vendors dominate the EHR market, they do so to a far greater extent than the 80/20 rule would predict. The top 24 EHR companies (just 6% of the 392 ambulatory EHRs with attestations) account for 80% of the total attestations to date—only 19 companies have delivered over 1,000 attestations and only 32 have exceeded 500. At the other end of the spectrum, 112 of the vendors produced only 1 to 5 attestations and a full 252 report 50 or fewer.

Meaningful Use Attestation Data Points to Future Vendor Success/Failure

So what does this mean for the future? Consider why so many vendors have so few attestations. It could be that they are small companies, new to the market, with limited revenue, resources, and staffing—which suggests they likely lack the significant development resources required to meet the increasingly complex certification requirements of Stages 2 and/or 3. Or it could be that their software is challenging to use and their physicians were unsuccessful at demonstrating meaningful use. In either case, these vendors will not survive in the long run—if lucky, they will be acquired by one of the large vendors. The survivors will most likely be those who have already established themselves in the top tier, and whose physicians experience only minimal disruption in the process of satisfying the government’s requirements. Was it the intention of CMS and ONC to force market consolidation? Or is the demise of small, innovative EHR companies an unintended consequence of the complexity of the EHR incentive program?

5 thoughts on “Meaningful Use Attestation Data Points to Future Vendor Success/Failure

  1. Quite possibly the EMRs with the most attestations were from the least useable EMRs which because of corporate pressure urged meaningful use attestation along despite the annoyance. Another group likely saw a unique opportunity and jumped on the “free money” bandwagon. Marginally profitable medical practices likely picked a free product like PF, input a few patients over 3 months and collected their incentive. How else can you explain the increased use of inferior products? As for the ones with few attestations, why would the future success of an EMR have any correlation with number of attestations when so few have any plans of pursing any future phase of meaningful use? Anyway, budget cuts will likely eliminate future incentives. With that the program dies and EMR vendor return to building useful products.

  2. I have attested for 2012, but it took a great deal of effort and was confusing. I think we are ready for stage 2, but would like to know how my EHR vendor is doing and if it is on the list of vendors that will be around for stage2and3! Compulink is who I am using – they seem to be on the know of meaningful use and attestation.

  3. Thats flawed logic. I hope that kind of programing logic is not used by whoever wrote this product.

    Meaningful use atttesations are a reflection of the number of installations.
    Older vendors will obviously have more installations just because they were in the market longer and had more installs/userbase.
    New vendors will have fewer attestations just by the fact that they are newer to market and have fewer installs.
    Free rudimentary products like practice fusion on the other hand attract low volume cash strapped doctors whose sole objective is to put in a few patient and collect MU money.
    Lets also remember that Medicare attesation does not provide Medicaid attestation data.
    There are several inhouse products that were certified – 1 attestation might reflect these. In addition Billing companies certified some of the scheduling producti they were giving out to doctors by adding “mu” only functionality. Add to this reseller certified products. Resellers are whitelabelling product and ceritifying it. Essentially the same product would have been certified by 10-15 vendors.

    If MU attestation is reflection of how useable the product is the ratio of installations to attestation shoudl be a good indicator-a free product like practice fusion or even one like allscripts is doing a terrible job.
    Practice fusion claims over 200,000 users (apparanetly half the doctors in U.S are using them if you go by their claims) and at say 2,000 attestations 1% of their users attest?
    Allscripts-looks like the numbers are not much better here.

  4. I think the telling stat is the largest group of EHR vendors in your chart, 6-50 MU attestations. Those are the vendors that are going to be really interesting. Will they make headway because they were just getting started late? Will many of those who attested with the large EHR vendors switch to these other EHR vendors?

    I wouldn’t count out the EHR vendors with smaller install bases yet. There are a lot of unhappy EHR users out there and we’re at what…50% EHR adoption?

  5. We’re actually closer to 35% EHR adoption for EPs. But, with 175,000 EPs having successfully attested to Stage 1, it strikes me that there’s finally a knowledge base to better support the EPs that aren’t there yet…

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