Premium Reports
Population Health Perception 2016

Population Health Perception 2016
Vendors Find their Place in Providers' Plans

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In the three years KLAS has reported on population health management (PHM) solutions, we have described a fragmented market, with scores of vendors from many different backgrounds. EMR vendors continue to dominate, but best-of-breed players are staying competitive with niche capabilities and robust functionality. The discussion now turns to which solutions have staying power and which are on track to be replaced. In this report, 165 providers describe the role of their PHM vendors and identify which they feel are poised to lead the vendor field.

1. ACQUISITIONS BUY IBM WATSON HEALTH VISIBILITY, SUPPOSED LEADERSHIP

Respondents listed 75 unique vendors as helping with PHM. Only 19 were named three or more times. The formation of IBM Watson Health, including the recent acquisitions of Explorys and Phytel, gives them a modest lead in adoption, though solutions are used separately. Expertise in analytics puts Optum next in line. Providers tag both IBM Watson Health and Optum as leaders, but most who do so are not actually customers. Some respondents see longevity in the deep pockets of owners IBM and UnitedHealthcare.

2. EMR VENDORS CONSIDERED PRIMARY, LONG-TERM SOLUTIONS—DESPITE FUNCTIONALITY WEAKNESSES

For health systems, integrating PHM tools with EMR data and workflows is hardly optional. A vast majority of athenahealth and Epic EMR customers use these vendors for PHM and consider them long-term solutions despite functionality gaps in data aggregation or analytics. Over two-thirds of Epic's PHM users fill gaps with third-party vendors. Allscripts and McKesson PHM solutions are less adopted by their EMR customers, but non-EMR users validate them as truly EMR independent. The popularity of Cerner's HealtheIntent is growing among Cerner customers, and users of other EMRs are also impressed.


3. DESPITE EMR VENDOR STRENGTH, THIRD-PARTY VENDORS HAVE A CONTINUING ROLE


Only 36% of third-party vendor solutions are considered both primary and long-term solutions. Providers considering eventual change of their third-party solution include those seeking a more comprehensive third-party offering and those hoping their EMR vendor will meet all needs. Ironically, those planning to keep third-party vendors are often experienced Cerner or Epic customers filling gaps. Nearly two-thirds of providers with third-party vendors will keep them, regardless of whether they are primary or supplementary. Lightbeam has the most staying power and is proof that newer vendors can make headway. In a KLAS PHM study done a year ago, only one provider mentioned Lightbeam; this year eight did. Although IBM Watson Health (Phytel, Explorys) and Optum are used more often, they are often seen as supplementary.

 

4. PROVIDER ATTENTION SHIFTS TO DATA-RELATED GAPS

Earlier KLAS research confirmed vendor claims of data expertise, but provider needs have become more complex as focus has shifted from claims-based analytics to comprehensive care management. Hurdles in data collection and quality are now providers' largest concerns. Interest is growing in enterprise data warehouses that mesh clinical and claims data. Providers decry the lack of interoperability that would ease the transfer of outside data into integrated EMR-based solutions. Even the most capable aggregation solutions require extensive configuration efforts.

 

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KEY TOPICS

  1. Acquisitions Buy IBM Watson Health Visibility, Supposed Leadership
  2. EMR Vendors Considered Primary, Long-Term Solutions—Despite Functionality Weaknesses
  3. Despite EMR Vendor Strength, Third-Party Vendors Have a Continuing Role
  4. Provider Attention Shifts to Data-Related Gaps
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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. © 2018 KLAS Enterprises, 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.