Jul 18

How Can EHR Mergers Impact Your Medical Practice’s Software Choice?

Did you know that 2017 saw upwards of 45 mergers and acquisitions in the healthcare field?

13 of these made major headlines due to the overall affect it could have on the industry as a whole. Aetna’s merger with CVS, Pinnacle health’s merger with UPMC, Advocate’s merger with Aurora Healthcare, and more make up this extensive list.

2018 is poised to move in the same direction. The most prominent merger in the EMR field so far this year is Practice Fusion being bought by Allscripts. This helps Allscripts to add another tool to their arsenal to continue being a leader in the healthcare field. Mergers like this have happened before, and will continue, but several questions remain. Why are these mergers happening and what do you do when it happens to your EMR/EHR vendor?

Why are EHR mergers happening?

There is not one simple catch all reason as to why different organizations are merging. It comes down to many different factors. Some of the elements contributing to EHR mergers include: specialty of said EMR, the user base that a vendor caters to, the price, and the size of the organization overall.

If a vendor has few features that differentiate them from the competition, they are likely to be bought out by an organization for the user base they support. Those EMR vendors who have faced financial struggles, have made limited upgrades to their software, and have not expanded their user base may be targets for mergers for larger companies.

On the flip side, EMR vendors offering a specialty EMR or a robust platform that fits all specialties may also become targets for mergers. They offer a large platform for growth, and offer features that other EMR vendors may not be able to perform. This makes them a great asset for obtaining buy in from physicians in niche specialties.

How can mergers impact your decision to change EHRs?

Sometimes, a merger means that the product you’ve grown accustomed to completely changes. Perhaps, the company decided to build a new team entirely. This means the support and training staff that you have worked with for years has changed completely. You could see an increase in price for your software, and your practice may not be able to meet that mark.

The way an EMR vendor merger will affect your practice depends upon the merger. Inevitably, you will have to readjust to your software provider and evaluate whether or not this is a good fit for your business.

Ask yourself the following questions when considering changing your vendor…
  1. How will changing your EMR vendor affect the other practices or organizations that you currently interface with?
  2. Will you be able to integrate your EHR with your new PM software?
    1. Do you completely get a new PM vendor?
      1. Do you try to find a vendor that offers both platforms?
    2. Can data from your current EMR be integrated into your new system?
  3. Will your licensing/support agreement with your current vendor allow you to terminate early without penalties?
    1. If the answer is no, is it worth leaving?
    2. What are the pros and cons?
  4. Who will oversee IT changes and training in your organization during the switch?

These are just a few of the questions we implore you to ask not only yourself, but also your potential software vendor as you move forward.

Understanding why the EHR merger is happening in the first place can help you to decide whether or not to change vendors. Consider all of the factors, including price, the training/support team you will interact with during implementation and onward, the features that the product will have or won’t have, and the company’s thoughts for the future.

Are you ready to switch your EHR vendor? MicroMD EHR is a flexible, customizable solution that will enhance your workflow and alleviate your stress. For more information, visit micromd.com or call 1-800-624-8832.

Looking for PM or EMR Software?

MicroMD PM and EMR/EHR  is flexible and can fit almost any specialty. Let us help you get back to the business of healing.

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BlogMD, an educational blog powered by Henry Schein MicroMD, has been developed to help independent practices navigate the constantly changing healthcare landscape.

Our goal is to provide your practice the information you need to get you back to what you do best – healing. We blog. You heal.

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