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Population Health Management 2017, Part 2

Population Health Management 2017, Part 2
Balancing Collaboration and Functionality

Authored by: Bradley Hunter and Colin Buckley January 4, 2018 | Read Time: 4  minutes

Provider organizations’ needs in managing population health are as varied as the capabilities of the IT solutions designed to assist them. To create a standard for the core competencies required in a population health management (PHM) solution, KLAS held a summit in 2016 attended by executives from provider organizations, HIT vendors, services firms, and payer organizations. Six verticals of IT functionality required for PHM were identified as well as basic and advanced functionalities for each vertical. A first report, focused on validating functionality deployment, was published in October. This second report focuses on performance; general performance feedback was gathered from vendors’ overall customer bases and specific vertical feedback was gathered from vendors’ most deeply deployed PHM customers.


Due to the high variability in what functionality organizations choose to deploy, it should be noted that vendors may offer additional functionality beyond what KLAS has validated. In addition, KLAS reached out to a smaller subset of customers, and sample sizes reflect this.


functionality satisfaction by population health management vertical

As providers look to move to comprehensive PHM platforms and leverage the most functionality they can from a single vendor, the question arises as to whether any vendors perform well across all six PHM verticals. While the reality today is that vendor performance can vary widely from vertical to vertical, some vendors offer more comprehensive options that more consistently meet customers’ technology and support needs. Based on feedback from vendors’ most deeply deployed PHM customers, this report details which vendors excel at helping customers overcome the resource, training, support, and functionality hurdles they encounter as they manage their patient populations.

1. IDNs and CINs Highly Satisfied with Health Catalyst, Arcadia, and Philips Wellcentive

Among the vendors that cater to the more complex needs of IDNs and CINs, Health Catalyst, Arcadia, and Philips Wellcentive are the most consistent in delivering satisfaction across multiple PHM verticals, specifically the data-focused verticals. Health Catalyst does well at developing new tools and working closely to help customers manage their PHM ___ goals and priorities. Arcadia and Philips Wellcentive are highlighted for accommodating multiple types of data and offering a breadth of analytics functionality. Arcadia’s strong relationships help drive overall customer satisfaction, while Wellcentive customers have experienced less attentiveness since being acquired by Philips. With administrative/financial reporting, all vendors struggle to provide the flexibility and customization needed to meet customers’ highly variable and complex needs.

vendor performance across data focused population health management verticals idns

2. HealthEC and Forward Health Group a Win for ACOs and ___ Small Hospitals

With feedback in this report coming primarily from ACO customers, HealthEC and Forward Health Group are the highest-performing vendors in several verticals. NextGen Healthcare (EagleDream Health) and Lightbeam also drive high satisfaction among this customer group, though the feedback comes from smaller sample sizes. Especially within the data-focused verticals, all four vendors are highlighted for their willingness to collaborate, customize, and be highly responsive to challenges. HealthEC is frequently praised for their flexibility and efforts to understand each customer’s needs. Forward Health Group customers feel their vendor is a true partner willing to guide them and help them understand the data. The close customer relationships fostered by executives from NextGen Healthcare (EagleDream Health) and Lightbeam enable customers to address concerns and participate in product development.

vendor performance across data focused population health management verticals acos

3. PHM Solutions from EMR Vendors Often See Broad Deployment but Only Average Satisfaction

Despite broad deployment and high customer expectations, the PHM solutions from EMR vendors garner only average or, in some cases, exceptionally poor overall satisfaction and are rarely among the top five performers in any vertical. This is partly because customers’ needs increase in complexity as broader deployment is achieved. Amid the mediocre feedback, clients do report some notable benefits, including integration that helps drive clinician engagement (e.g., eClinicalWorks and Epic) and the availability of patient portals, which many third-party solutions don’t offer. athenahealth in particular is highlighted for their functional, easy-touse portal. Allscripts customers praise the easy-to-use care management functionality and dbMotion’s data-aggregation capabilities. For the data-focused verticals, third-party solutions generally offer more niche functionality than EMR vendors (e.g., Epic and eClinicalWorks), or if the functionality exists, customers want more guidance (Cerner).

emr vendor performanceacross all population health management verticals

4. Forward Health Group ___ and Enli Outperform _______ Most EMR Vendors in _____ Clinician Engagement

Since their PHM tools are more likely to exist within clinicians’ EMR workflows, EMR vendors are some of the highest rated for clinician engagement. However, the two highest performing vendors are actually Forward Health Group and Enli, whose customers report being able to access salient patient data within their normal workflow. NextGen Healthcare (EagleDream Health) is highlighted for the high quality of their data; with less-frequent deployment of single sign-on, though, these customers encounter more barriers to clinician data access. The few eClinicalWorks respondents who use the system for clinician engagement report tight, seamless EMR integration and insightful patient-data alerts. The lowest performers in clinician engagement— Health Catalyst, IBM Watson Health, Optum, and Philips Wellcentive—either aren’t expected by customers to meet clinician engagement needs or struggle to deliver the integration needed for successful clinician engagement.

clinician engagement

Key Findings

  1. IDNs and CINs Highly Satisfied with Health Catalyst, Arcadia, and Philips Wellcentive
  2. HealthEC and Forward Health Group a Win for ACOs and Small Hospitals
  3. PHM Solutions from EMR Vendors Often See Broad Deployment but Only Average Satisfaction
  4. Forward Health Group and Enli Outperform Most EMR Vendors in Clinician Engagement


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This material is copyrighted. Any organization gaining unauthorized access to this report will be liable to compensate KLAS for the full retail price. Please see the KLAS DATA USE POLICY for information regarding use of this report. © 2020 KLAS Research, LLC. All Rights Reserved. NOTE: Performance scores may change significantly when including newly interviewed provider organizations, especially when added to a smaller sample size like in emerging markets with a small number of live clients. The findings presented are not meant to be conclusive data for an entire client base.