I did a post on EMR and EHR called Medical Billing Software Lost in the EHR Mix and then cross posted it to a group on LinkedIn. In that group, I got the following story from Daniel McDonald who works at a practice management software vendor. The response was so interesting I had to share it with more people:
We have been a PM vendor for more than 20 years and we made the decision to not pursue our own EMR as we are a small company with very close ties to our customers. My partner even supported them prior to our 20 years. Some have been with her for 27 years.
We built both an API process and a HL7 process to do the necessary information exchange and pull back the charge and diagnosis data to our PM software. Originally we were under the assumptio this process was supposed to be all about the ability to share data with physcians as well as others involved in patient care.
Unfortunately we have customers who were never told by the EMR vendor they had the ability to share the needed data because it would limit the salespersons commision even though this would limit the disruption in the office and limit larger than needed expenditures on software, training and conversions. The large companies only cared about their stock prices and not about making the process of the implementation quicker, easier by keeping one big part the offices were comfortable with and knew so well. The PM software ultimately affected the entire office and is making the transitions a nightmare. We even have groups paying us to host their data in the event they pull the plug.
We have an office with an attorney fighting the fact the office asked about an interface and the vendor said it was all or nothing. A week later at a luncheon the office manager found out all of the other doctors that bought that package were continuing to use their original PM and were not changing.
So far all this has done is made the fat pockets fatter, disrupted the office, and is pushing the smaller PM vendors customers they have had for 27 years. For the last two years we have not been able to focus solrly on our PM. We found several economical solutions we interface with to meet MU but several customers have been scarred by verbage used by the fat cats in their sales presentations and tactics.
Everyone of our customers were happy and got their calls returned promptly and on the same day. We also have a medical billing company so our software customers would call us with their questions about billing, credentialing and what affects getting a CT or MRI might require or how to bill a code they had never billed before. Now they call an 800 number and they get someone who is hard to understand only to be told they will be placed in the queue and that initial call is not always even on the same day. We know our product like the back of our hands as we developed our own in 1994 so not only do they get a prompt call, they get an answer.
As best I can tell, the comment is about the ProvidrSoft practice management software. I’ve seen some of the practices that Daniel mentions in his above comment. I’m not sure it’s just the big EHR vendors that are telling them that they need an integrated EHR and PM. That message has gotten out far and wide.
As I read the comment above, in the back of my mind I could see a hundred other practice management software companies in my head who could probably share a similar story. I’m not sure how this is all going to play out, but I know that many doctors love their practice management software. They’ve been through many battles together and they won’t leave it behind on the battlefield.