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Epic Systems, Cerner Top EHR Vendors for Meaningful Users

Recent data shows Epic Systems and Cerner as the leading EHR vendors for meaningful use attestation, highlighting vendor market dominance.

By Sara Heath

- Epic Systems and Cerner Corporation continue to be the top dogs when it comes to the EHR Incentive Programs.

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According to new data from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), the two EHR vendors are the most popular among ambulatory providers and hospitals successfully attesting to meaningful use, respectively.

The data show that among the 337,432 ambulatory providers attesting to meaningful use, 30 percent of them receive their 2014 certified EHR technology (CEHRT) from Epic Systems. Other popular EHR vendors include Allscripts, eClinicalWorks, athenahealth, and NextGen Healthcare. These, along with Epic, account for 60 percent of all meaningful use attesting hospitals with 2014 CERHT.

Notably, the data shows a wide spread of various different EHR vendors for ambulatory providers. In total, 632 vendors supplied 2014 CEHRT to ambulatory providers.

Furthermore, the number of providers reportedly using a small commercial EHR outranked the number of providers using Epic systems. Nearly 88,000 ambulatory providers reported using a smaller commercial EHR, showing diversity in the ambulatory EHR market.

The EHR vendor market for eligible hospitals attesting to meaningful use shows far less diversity. Coming out on top was Cerner Corporation, supplying 2014 CERHT to 1,092 eligible hospitals, or about 25 percent.

Other popular vendors included MEDITECH, Epic Systems, Evident, McKesson, and MEDHOST. Between those vendors and Cerner, they account for 92 percent of the eligible hospital EHR market. Adding to those the shares from Allscripts, QuadraMed, Prognosis, and athenahealth (the top ten EHR vendors for eligible hospitals) accounts for 98 percent of all 2014 CERHT in hospitals.

Other recent trend reports show similar market dominance for Cerner and Epic. Last month, Kalorama Information reported that Cerner Corporation has the highest EHR vendor market share, maintaining a slight edge over McKesson. This was likely due to Cerner’s Siemens acquisition in 2015.

The Kalorama report also showed a shift in health IT market share, highlighting the insurgence of smaller specialized firms over large technology companies such as Siemens or General Electric.

"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."

The Kalorama report, alongside the new ONC data set, show a signficiant market dominance for a smaller share of EHR vendors. Between Epic Systems, Cerner Corporation, McKesson, and the several others repeatedly mentioned through both reports, the healthcare IT marketplace sees the strength of only a small set of technology vendors.

This trend may not be going away soon, Kalorama reported. EHR vendor companies are allegedly looking to consolidate through company mergers and acquisitions.

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 industry have seen this shift in action as of late, as McKesson recently announced its deal to merge with Change Healthcare. McKesson will be shedding its health IT divisions and working with Change Healthcare to create a new, larger health IT vendor.

“This is a bold, innovative transaction that creates a company with an enhanced ability to help customers address their increasingly complex financial and clinical challenges,” McKesson Chairman & CEO John H. Hammergren said in a public statement.

“We look forward to partnering with Change Healthcare’s management team and employees to create this new enterprise and to help customers reduce complexity, lower costs and ultimately provide better care.”

Image Credit: ONC

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