Sunday, June 17, 2012

This is not cold fusion

By the way, speaking of electronic medical records and meaningful use, we cannot fail to mention the upstart company Practice Fusion.  Focusing mainly on independent physician practices, Practice Fusion CEO's says, "We’re effectively the Salesforce for doctors, and the Facebook for health.”  Doctors can sign up for free for an EMR that will meet the meaningful use criteria, making them eligible for the $44,000 in federal incentive payments.  The service offers labs, e-prescribing, scheduling, charting, and billing.  The revenue model is based on advertising by labs, pharmacies, and drug companies who want to be seen by these medical decisions-makers.  The company promises that the basic EMR services will always be free, but I suspect that future revenue may also come from enhanced services.

Notwithstanding a movement of doctors from private practice to hospital-based practices, there are still lots of MDs working in small offices across the country.  Many of them are older people with little or no computer capability, but they know they will need to have EMRs to be included in certain insurance products and networks.  Even Dr. Oz is used by Practice Fusion to reach out to these people.

A Tech Crunch report from last November noted:

Practice Fusion’s doctor and record uptake rate is growing exponentially. It counted 70,000 clients in April when it raised a $23 million series B, and by September when it took $6 million more in funding it had 100,000 health care providers on board. Now Practice Fusion is at 130,000, and with each new doctor comes roughly 2,000 new patients who can access their own medical records from anywhere. Doctors can begin using the product in minutes, and can pay to have all their existing paper records scanned in over a few days. Practice Fusion’s competitors can take 6 months or longer to get doctors set up.

Just a few months later, the company claims to have over 150,000 subscribers.  Worth watching, for sure.


Unknown said...

Thanks for the mention, Paul. I've been following your blog for years. You're spot on except for one point - we don't have any plans to charge for "enhanced services." In fact, just the opposite, new free services are launching this summer and fall.


Anonymous said...

Dang, this is not good!