EHR in the Cloud Portends Big Shift in HIT
So, where are those Practice Fusion revenues? Douglass says the EHR represents "a marketing platform for pharmaceutical companies to advertise to our physicians." Lab companies such as LabCorps, Quest, and 350 other labs in the U.S. pay a premium to Practice Fusion to receive orders electronically from doctors using Practice Fusion, and to send results back electronically. "We repeat that business for imaging centers, for billing companies, for transcription centers, for pretty much any business that needs to interact with physicians."
I'm not sure these revenue sources totally reassure skeptical physicians or make the company worth $150 million in investments. It all has a dot-com whiff about it to me. But we may be at a particular inflection point in the evolution of healthcare IT where giving it away and a getting a big installed base fast works one more time in tech.
So yes, this could portend a big shift in health IT technology. Remember that the dot-com boom left Google and Amazon standing, and look how they're still changing technology more than a dozen years later. So I say to small practitioners: Keep your eyes and your options open. And for larger systems, think about what the tech landscape would look like today if you weren't paying off a $150 million Epic investment.
Scott Mace is senior technology editor at HealthLeaders Media.
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