Going Beyond Free EHR – Paying Doctors to Use Your EHR

I still remember the first time I heard about Practice Fusion offering a Free EHR. My first response was, “Really?” Of course, having Practice Fusion as an advertiser, being on stage at the Practice Fusion User Group meeting and a number of other interactions with other Free EHR vendors like Mitochon Systems (also an advertiser) has opened my eyes into the real business model behind the “Free EHR” software.

As I thought on the Free EHR business model, I wondered whether some EHR vendor will come out and actually pay doctors to use their EHR software. Yes, that’s right…

An EHR Vendor that Pays Doctors to use EHR.

I haven’t seen one yet, but I could see it happening. It’s not a business model that I would navigate, but I wonder how the Free EHR vendors would react if a well funded venture backed EHR company came out and offered to pay doctors to use their software. Basically, this new company would be doing to the Free EHR vendors what Free EHR vendors did to the rest of the EHR industry.

Would someone really have the moxie to do such a move?

Would the ads, research or other revenue models play out so well that someone could pay doctors to use an EHR?

I’m not talking about the government paying doctors to use an EHR. That’s a different thing all together. Maybe the EHR vendor that does it could be one that’s a sinking ship and making a last ditch effort to somehow monetize their EHR since their EHR software is great, but their EHR marketing is lacking. What better way to improve the marketing of your EHR than paying doctors to use it?

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of 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.


  • While I doubt that an EMR vendor is going to pay docs to adopt their application … especially one about to go under. However … I don’t think you have to twist your brain much to envision HHS launching such an initiative.

    I can see HHS frustrated with the low subscription of EPs to HEIT funded incentives … goes out and buys by the gross boxes of ATCB certified EMRs on Overstock.com from bankrupt EMR vendors … and sending them to EPs who have not implemented an EMR.

    Maybe they will scotch tape a $5 bill to the box as a way to make it look like an even better deal. Hey … it’s only our money!

    … yet bankrupt

  • Emily,
    I guess that’s one way to look at it if you’re a PR person from a Free EHR vendor;-)

    I think it’s better described as payment for jumping through the government hoops. Obviously, that payments better for a Free EHR than one you had to pay for, but still requires hoop jumping.

  • How many ads do you see on PracticeFusion or other free EHRs? I see very few. I don’t see how ad revenue is a viable business model for physician side of this.

  • Steve,
    Hard to say how many ads. However, the ads they have are much more valuable than a lot of other ads out there. So, they don’t need as many to make money. The key question for them won’t be if they can get enough advertisers. The key question is whether they’ll be able to get advertisers to renew their ad campaigns over and over again. If they can, then they’ll have a great business model and more advertisers will come. If they can’t, then they’ve got a major problem to deal with.

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