EMR Pricing Comparison Website

In a number of my recent posts and conversations the idea that providers need a way to filter through the plethora of EHR vendors that exist out there (Between 300-600 EHR vendors) has become a really compelling theme.

I think some of the challenges with filtering EHR vendors include:

1. Getting truthful information about an EHR vendor. This is especially true when it comes to pricing. There’s just a lot of bad information out there. On top of that, there’s a lot of partial information that doesn’t tell the full story of how much an EHR costs.

2. Having a way to compare the pricing of various EHR vendors. Let’s be honest, price is ALWAYS a part of the EMR selection process. However, it’s definitely a challenge for providers to try and compare prices across EHR vendors. Comparing the cost of a SaaS EHR versus a Client Server EHR takes some analysis.

I’m considering the idea of creating a website or section of one of my existing websites that’s devoted to getting truthful and complete EHR pricing information. I’m not exactly sure the right approach to do this in a successful way that’s accurate and scalable.

One direction is to go to the EHR vendors themselves and get the pricing info. Over time I think that EHR vendors would start coming to me to be listed on the price list. The key would have to be asking the EHR vendors the right questions so that we got ALL the pricing information and not just part.

The other way is to talk to doctors who’ve recently implemented a specific EHR vendor and get the pricing details that they actually incurred implemented that EHR software. This would obviously be some very interesting data. The question here is whether doctors would be willing to collect and provide that data. Plus, would there be phony “doctors” deployed by the EHR vendors to skew things?

A few other challenges with this idea. The first challenge is that EHR vendors will often change prices. Keeping up with the EHR price changes would be a challenge. The second challenge is that many EHR vendors pricing is a negotiated price. Obviously, if I’m buying software for 100 doctor practice I have more leverage to negotiate price. Maybe the key for this second challenge is to just focus on the 1-5 doc practice EMR pricing. They have much less leverage in negotiating price anyway. Plus, wouldn’t it be interesting to see which EHR vendors have drastically different pricing?

What do you think of this idea? Does it have merit? What things would I have to do to ensure that the data was interesting and useful? Would having something related to EHR pricing be better than what we have now (very little)?

What data elements would be useful to have from an EHR vendor when you’re evaluating pricing? What’s on your list of pricing questions?

Would you as a doctor or EHR vendor be interested in sharing your pricing info?

If I decide to take this on, my goal would be to provide truthful information that was valuable to providers in their filtering of EHR vendors. To make it worth my time, I’d likely put ads on the site. In fact, both things are basically what I do here on EMR and HIPAA.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference, EXPO.health, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.

8 Comments

  • I definitely think there is validity to this venture. I think there are many small practice physicians that are interested in getting more information about EHR’s but may not be at the point of scheduling a demo/meeting.

    I also am not aware of another website compiling/providing the information you listed in your post… so there seems to be a void that your new website could fill.

  • Steve,
    Thanks for the comment. Another thing I was considering is the possible legal ramifications of posting this information. Obviously, it’s not a problem if it comes from the EHR vendor. There’s also likely nothing illegal about posting information that someone has given you and posted as such. Although, that’s not to stop an EHR vendor that doesn’t like what’s being posted from fighting you legally.

    Hmmm…

  • Wikipedia used to have a good pricing matrix posted on their EMR listing (well, maybe not good – but actually available) and it was taken down as being too promotional. At Practice Fusion we commissioned an independent graduate student do some research around pricing, a lengthy process that yielded an EMR Comparison Chartthat we’re happy to share.

    Godspeed with this project! It’s desperately needed.

  • I might have to check the wikipedia history for the info. Good be a good first blog post. We’ll see. I might just make it emrandhipaa.com/pricing Hmmm….lots of options.

  • Why the worry about price when there are free solutions? Meaningful Use Certification criteria has made EMR functionality at best uniform and in reality a commodity. They all now have to do the same things, albeit some may be a little different. Once you take price out of the equation the decision is how the EMR will be delivered. Old style distributed software and hardware such as servers in the physicians office or a Software as a Service over the web, just like your banking systems are all web based, that is the way to go. Allow an forward thinking outfit to take care of the tech and allow the Physician to look after the patients!

  • I represent Aquarius EMR software in South Florida and also the Chicago-land area. Aquarius EMR is certified and has a meaningful-use dashboard. This allows physicians to confirm they are adhering to the meaningful-use guidelines daily, if they so chose. Aquarius is also the only certified EMR software that is COMPLETELY CUSTOMIZABLE which allows the software to be molded around the habits and tendencies of the practice instead of vice-versa..

    For a single physician practice, Aquarius EMR is $4,995 with a leasing price of around $180 a month for 36 months with a $1 buy-out at the end..

    With that being said, we recommend a 2 day implementation and training where several of our IT staff go into the practice, observe the office workflow etc & then customize the software template to best fit the practice & train the staff.. That is $1,500 per 8 hr day which can be broken into shorter periods of time.

    There are also hardware and server requirements if the practice is not already equipped.. Aquarius EMR is designed to be used on a touch-screen computer, although not required.. If the doctor wants a workstation in each patient care room, a large touch-screen computer is around $1,000 & and a basic PC work station is around $500.. If the doctor prefers not to have the workstations in each patient room and prefers to just carry around an iPad accessing patient records that way, iPads are around $500.

    I hope this helps! I would love to know what some of the other EMR softwares are charging.. I had a physician tell me he was quoted a price from one of the larger EMR companies for $50,000 for a single physician practice..!

    If anyone reading this has any questions about Aquarius EMR or would like to hear more about the product, please feel free to contact me at Jessica@i-medicalsolutions.com

  • Jessica,
    The pricing is all over the place. Everything from the huge lump sum up front payment (the $50k price you mention happens often or even more depending on the number of providers) to the monthly payment plans and even a number of free EMR options.

    Although, it seems like the monthly payment plan options are quickly becoming the most popular option.

  • John

    We at Mitochon Systems would support your endeavors to bring transparency to the market place. As you know we are a free certified service with alternate revenue streams (clinical messaging and Pharma Advertising revenue) that allows us to fulfill our mission of bringing solutions to physicians that are free of charge.

    Simply put the main players seem to have taken an approach to pricing that makes their 5 year cost of ownership exactly the same as the ARRA stimulus income a physician can qualify for. This is inline with Blumethal’s comments earlier in the year that physcians are only guardians of the stimulus dollars that will eventually end up in Vendors pockets. The government strategy of creating the stimulus to drive industry to creat solutiuons as oppose to more RHIO and NHIN grants is a strong strategy. The issue for Physicians is do they want to try and keep the stimulus dollars for supporting acheiving stage 2 and 3 in 2013 and 2015 or just use them upfront for a costly system to acheive stage 1 only. A free certified system leaves the ARRA funding in the physcians hands so they can continue to develop and achieve later stage Meaningful Use criteria, particulalry with a system that was designed to underwrite the referal patterns for physicians and already has electonic physician to physician and physician to patient services built in to the free service. So agree lets get transparency and clarity between the different systems on offer, but it is not just price alone (being free we at Mitochon Systems like price comparison!) it is about what systems are built correctly to enable ongoing certification and support mobile interaction (non flash based solutions are required per Steve jobs comment re Apples iOS never accepting Flash) We are ahppy to support your endeavors!

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