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Population Health Management 2018 Population Health Management 2018
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Population Health Management 2018
Decision Insights Report

author - Doug Tolley
Doug Tolley
author - Sam Eaquinto
Sam Eaquinto
June 22, 2018 | Read Time: 6  minutes

When purchasing a population health management (PHM) solution, provider organizations can choose from three general types of vendors, each of which comes with a potential disadvantage. Organizations can (1) choose from the established vendors, who tend to have lower overall customer satisfaction; (2) start with their EMR vendor, though EMR solutions can be immature and lack the required functionality depth; or (3) select an upstart company—though their potential can be alluring, these vendors lack a proven track record. In a rapidly evolving market where few vendors deliver as much as they promise, what are the best options available? Which PHM vendors have high market consideration, above-average customer retention, or high customer satisfaction? And do any vendors have all three? 

retention vs consideration

The A-List: Enli and Epic

Enli (an established PHM vendor) and EMR vendor Epic are the two vendors in the PHM market with high market consideration, excellent customer retention, and high (top-quartile) customer satisfaction. Enli is known for great relationships and a focus on customer outcomes for small hospitals and clinics. Clients feel the Enli team is competent, passionate, and responsive. Most Epic users are satisfied with Healthy Planet and optimistic about the product’s progress. Epic is a safe choice and a strong partner due to their track record of building the functionality that organizations need. Some clients say the workflows are cumbersome. Others mention functionality gaps in areas like reporting and care management.

Who Has Market Energy?

Provider organizations’ PHM-consideration lists often include EMR vendors athenahealth, Cerner, and Epic and established PHM vendors Enli, IBM Watson Health, and Optum. EMR vendors are considered because of the potential for integration. Optum customers report strong data analytics capabilities and improved overall satisfaction. However, an overlap in functionality between Optum’s system and customers’ other solutions has led some to do less with Optum in an effort to decrease cost redundancy. IBM Watson Health has good consideration energy, but almost half as many organizations are considering leaving IBM as are considering moving to them. IBM Watson Health’s Explorys clients complain there has been a lack of development to address customers’ clinician-engagement challenges.

Market Satisfaction Leader

HealthEC, a more recent entrant into PHM, provides a very consistent experience for clients, many of whom are ambulatory clinics and smaller hospitals located in the northeastern region of the US. HealthEC has satisfied or very satisfied customers in all six KLAS-defined PHM functionality verticals, the only vendor to achieve this depth in the latest KLAS PHM performance study.


What Drives New Energy?

The top reasons vendors are considered in a PHM purchase are product functionality and market forces (e.g., hospital consolidation and platform standardization). Company culture and customer relationships are the next-most-often mentioned reasons vendors make an organization’s short list.

what drives new energy

Epic considerations are being driven by the fact that the product has now reached a viable maturity level, something that wasn’t the case as recently as a year ago. athenahealth is seen as offering good value. Strong relationships drive considerations of Philips Wellcentive. Vendors drive better value when they help customers deploy functionality to address specific challenges or goals.

Despite continued development, Allscripts, athenahealth, Cerner, and Epic are viewed by some provider organizations as still immature in PHM. When established PHM vendor Evolent Health is not selected, it is often due to the cost of their managed services business model. Organizations that pass on Health Catalyst, a recent PHM entrant, often do so because they feel the system is more complex than they need or can implement.

top reasons for loss

Less than 5%: Implementation, system design, business model, current experience, expertise, product flexibility, promises, responsiveness, ambivalance, facility too small, post-sales responsiveness, pre-sales contracting, prior experience, references, road map, sales, technology, vendor stability, vision, and workflow.


Is Population Health a Replacement Market?

Provider organizations who feel their current PHM solution is missing functionality wonder whether they should purchase additional solutions to supplement what they already have or whether they should look for one vendor who can supply everything they need. Current data indicates that, for now, most organizations are taking a multi-vendor approach. These organizations often use their EMR vendor for data aggregation and clinician engagement while filling in the gaps with other vendors’ solutions to drive specific outcomes. Many organizations would love for their EMR vendor’s solution to be their only PHM solution, but these products still lack mature functionality for data analysis, care management, and administrative/financial reporting. EMR vendors’ PHM customers must often dedicate significant resources to their PHM tools, especially when implementing and establishing data feeds. For more information, see the recent KLAS reports on population health.

Promises Kept?

There is a tendency in emerging markets for vendors to overpromise and underdeliver. In the PHM space, vendors keep their promises less often than in the overall HIT software market, and this propensity to underdeliver leads to customer dissatisfaction. The vendors who set realistic expectations and score well for keeping promises include EMR vendors athenahealth and Epic, established PHM vendors Enli and i2i Population Health, and newer entrants Health Catalyst and HealthEC. EMR vendor eClinicalWorks and established PHM vendors Advisory Board, Conifer Health Solutions, and IBM Watson Health (Explorys) have work to do to gain the trust of customers, who want clear expectations and precise delivery.

Overall, provider organizations are optimistic about the PHM market and believe vendors are headed in the right direction.

Does Facility Size Influence Vendor Selection?

Who Should CIOs Keep an Eye On?

vendor consideration by facility type

As mentioned above, HealthEC’s customers are very happy with their solution, and none are considering leaving. The vendor’s nimble development and willingness to customize functionality lead to high satisfaction. A recent entrant to PHM, HealthEC will be a vendor to watch as they broaden their footprint.

Also newer to PHM, Health Catalyst works mainly with very large organizations. Based on the limited feedback currently available, customers have high overall satisfaction. Health Catalyst partners closely with customers to better understand their strategies and then build programs to help them track and meet their goals. Customers credit Health Catalyst’s data-based consultative approach for driving powerful outcomes.

Other vendors with good satisfaction scores but limited customer feedback include recent PHM entrants Arcadia, Forward Health Group, and Lightbeam. Arcadia excels at aggregating data from disparate clinical and claims sources. Forward Health Group is known for great clinician engagement and helping customers talk to payers. Lightbeam is good at helping customers identify and understand high-risk patient populations; a few clients are looking to move to a less expensive solution.


“We implemented Enli CareManager to bring population health capabilities into our EMR. Enli is showing us gaps in our practice workflows and EMR mapping. Enli CareManager has added significant value. Enli has far exceeded our expectations in terms of the product and the support.” (community hospital)

“We probably looked at 10 different vendors’ population health systems before selecting HealthEC Care Manager. We saw demos and made sure that the product we chose was by far the easiest to navigate, use, and pull data from. HealthEC Care Manager was the best out of the products we looked at. (large physician practice)

“Our work with Healthy Planet is going well, and we are eager for Epic to continually update and advance the product. Over the next few years, I believe that Epic is going to fill the majority of our needs in population health.” (large hospital)

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Decision Insights help provider organizations understand which vendors have market energy and why organizations are considering these vendors. Decision Insights are not designed to be a comprehensive census or win/loss market share study.

author - Natalie Jamison
Natalie Jamison
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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. © 2024 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.