Archive for June, 2012

Patient Data Is the engine that will power EHR systems, vendors

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

We have all been bombarded by the hundreds of EMR and EHR vendors and more than 1000 certified products that saturate the marketplace today. So how hot is the EMR market right now? Enought to demand $27 PER CLICK for “Electronic Medical Records” by Google for a top three ad location!

EHR systems are poised to begin following the real economic opportunity that is fueling healthcare IT…patient data. Big pharma and other companies will pay large amounts of cash for patients data (depersonalized, secure, anonymous data, of course). Awakening to the existence of this money trail- a pool of data bigger than the largest oil field reserves-can bring up many questions such as:

Who contraols the data, and who can profit from it?

Can a clearinghouse sell data? How about the EHR vendor? How about the patient?

Shoiuld a patient get a cut from the sold data? Hey, it works in the music industry. Can apatient opt-out of having her information sold?

With Obamacare being on the front burner this week, fine points such as those listed above are sure to gain an audience soon. We hope that you will share your thoughts with us.

EHR and Obamacare as Viewed by Investors

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Benefiting From Medical Records Going Digital (credit David Sterman)

Part of Obamacare seeks to increase the accuracy and lower the cost of medical records by compelling hospitals, doctors, pharmacists and others to stop using pen and paper and start developing electronic medical records (EMRs). For investors, that meant rising expectations for companies that deal with EMRs — such as Cerner (CERN) and Allscripts (MDRX) — or other digital technologies such as imaging software, provided by firms like Merge Healthcare (MRGE).

In anticipation of these looming changes, medical professionals had already begun to aggressively move into the digital world. Yet the Supreme Court challenge to Obamacare had led to a major pause. Shares of Allscripts and Merge Healthcare have recently tanked in the face of slowing growth, and management at each firm warns that the sudden slowdown in sales may last a while.

The Road Ahead: The move to EMRs is likely inevitable now that the process is underway. Health care practitioners had been slow to adopt digital medical records, but they are moving in that direction now, even if recent quarterly results give the appearance of a pause. As a result, the steep share price drop for Allscripts and Merge may prove temporary.