Electronic Health Records

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Cerner Tops McKesson, Epic as Top EHR Vendor by Market Share

The latest report on EHR market share puts Cerner at the top spot, followed by McKesson.

By Kyle Murphy, PhD

Cerner maintains a slight advantage over McKesson as a result of its acquisition of Siemens Healthcare in 2015, according to Kalorama Information. Additionally, the report indicates a shift over the past five years in terms of the focal area of market competition.

"The trend over the past four years has been an increasing amount of revenue going to mid-size EMR specialist companies and away from IT companies and diversified healthcare companies," Bruce Carlson, Publisher of Kalorama Information, said in a public statement.

Following behind Cerner and McKesson were Epic Systems and Allscripts, which have gained traction over the past few years. (This is the same McKesson that is reportedly considering an exit from the health IT space.)

"Cerner overtook McKesson in 2015 according to the firm's report of that year," the company stated in its announcement. "But the action was in mid-sized companies. Information Technology leaders GE Healthcare and Siemens have reduced presence in EMR and smaller specialized firms such as Epic and Allscripts have increased share."

Since 2012, Epic has risen from the sixth spot to the third in Kalorama surveys while Allscripts has managed to move up just one spot from fifth to fourth. " Not only did market share position increase for both companies, but both increased revenues from the previous year and have demonstrated stable growth," the company stated.

A potential knock against Epic could be its "high price tag," according to Kalorama. Despite this, Epic has secured significant contracts with the likes of CVS and Providence Network

Other top EHR vendors featuring in the report were athenahealth, NextGen Healthcare, MEDITECH, eClinicalWorks, and Greenway Health which are competing over physician sales, a market segment valued at over $27 million.

Another trend emerging from the EMR market report is consolidation among EHR vendors:

Mergers and acquisitions are not new to the health IT market but there seems to be an emerging strategy, which is attempting to reach a greater number of healthcare organizations, providers and patients through synergistic pairing. There has been a flurry of mergers and acquisitions among EMR vendors. Companies are jumping in and out of the market at a rapid pace. This creates concern for consumers who wonder if their vendor will be around after they purchase the product.

The company anticipates more contraction in the space as the number of companies — more than 1100 — is not sustainable.

Furthermore, demands for technological innovation in areas such as EHR interoperability, health information exchange, and mobile (to name a few) will have a direct influence on the ability of these EHR vendors to maintain or increase their market share.

A recent Black Book survey found that healthcare practices have increased satisfaction and demand for more integrated EHR usability, practice management programs, and revenue cycle management systems, especially as value-based care models become more popular.

Roughly three-quarters of physician practices with 25-plus clinicians reported being eager to apply EHR enhancements in value-based payment innovation as well as functionality and service by the second quarter of 2016.

According to Black Book, Allscripts was the top EHR vendor for large group and independent practices for the third year running.

Despite general satisfaction, many EHR adopters still expressed displeasure with EHR interoperability capabilities. Approximately one third of participants stated that their EHR systems had inadequate connectivity with other systems.

“Vendor transparency and accountability concerns are challenging clinics and practices to reevaluate their technology relationships again,” said Managing Partner Doug Brown. “For clients financially and contractually trapped in their EHR vendor relationship, middleware is gaining more attention and favor over regional and public HIEs as middleware offers trustworthy service delivery and innovative interoperability to support providers through reimbursement reforms.”




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