Allscripts extends more contracts to Paragon, plans to enhance EHRs

After acquiring McKesson’s EHR business, Allscripts pledges to invest in integration, innovation and interoperability for better population health management.
By Mike Miliard
03:14 PM
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Allscripts EHRs

Allscripts announced this week that four more hospitals have extended their Paragon EHR agreements with the company in the third quarter of 2017, following its acquisition of McKesson's Enterprise Information Solutions unit in August.

The Southern California-based KPC Group hospitals will innovate with Paragon, OneContent and other tools by selecting remote hosting and adding additional years of maintenance through a bundled offering, according to Allscripts.

Based in Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, the KPC Group comprises not just acute care hospitals but independent physicians associations, medical groups and other ancillary facilities.

[Also: KLAS: 'Clock is ticking' for Allscripts to do right by McKesson Paragon customers]

Allscripts says its investments will help the Paragon sites deliver better quality care for patients and establish a stable infrastructure for continuous improvements across those organizations, helping them move IT operations to a secure data environment and enabling them to focus on technology optimization.

Bundled agreements include remote hosting capabilities, maintenance, upgrades and services for the Allscripts application suite, including Paragon, OneContent and other associated tools, officials said, including help with Stage 3 meaningful use and assistance with migration from on-premise data centers to cloud hosting.

In a recent interview, Rich Berner, senior vice president for health systems and population health solutions management, said most of the Paragon customers he's visited since late summer were glad to be new Allscripts customers – and that Allscripts was committed to doing well by its new Paragon clients.

[Also: Two maps show just how much Allscripts boosted its EHR footprint by buying McKesson's tech]

"We made this acquisition as a growth investment, so we're going to continue to invest in their solutions," said Berner. "And the client is excited about some of the new solutions coming in."

As proof, he pointed to an October Black Book report that polled 1,200 McKesson Paragon clients and found that a whopping 96 percent of execs there said they're optimistic about how the Allscripts acquisition will improve Paragon clients' processes and technologies.

Around the same time, however, a report from KLAS said the 'clock is ticking' for Allscripts to make good on the promised innovations for a Paragon client base that had previously been grappling with uncertainty.

Berner said Allscripts is doing just that. "We're going to continue to invest in Paragon for those smaller hospitals who are looking for a fully integrated inpatient/outpatient/clinical revenue cycle solution," he said.

"The nearest term thing is to finish out the ambulatory offering," he said. "The Paragon clients have been wanting integrated inpatient and ambulatory, so next year we're going to continue finishing the investment that was already underway, which is delivering the total ambulatory solution so Paragon clients can continue having inpatient and outpatient on the same platform. They already have inpatient-outpatient revenue cycle but the clinicals piece is what they want.

"We'll also continue to focus on how do we make the EHR easier to use for the clinician and give them the information they need at the point of care," he added.

"One of the other reasons that this merger is good for them is that they will have access to, and an even greater level of tighter integration with CareInMotion, our population health management suite," said Berner.

"We pride ourselves and believe the differentiating strength is that all four pillars of CareInMotion are EHR agnostic – from data aggregation/normalization to the analytics, care coordination to patient engagement. So now Paragon and the rest of the client base coming over will have access to those population health management tools with an even tighter level of integration than they had prior to the acquisition."

The acquisition will also be good for Allscripts' existing Sunrise customers, he said. Before the McKesson deal it had been working on developing a simpler, lighter-weight version of that EHR for the small hospital market. With Paragon, Allscripts now has one – allowing it to refocus some of those resources back to its larger Sunrise clients.

But Berner said the three-month-old acquisition will be good for all of Allscripts' customers, whether existing Sunrise hospitals or new Paragon clients.

"The mission we've been on since Paul took over is to create open connected communities of health," he said. "We want to do that to help our clients improve the health of the patients and populations they serve."

Such a large expansion of its client base, coupled with sizable investments in innovation, will help "accelerate the connection of a greater number of communities," said Berner. "We know today how everyone is struggling with the sharing of information. This acquisition helps us solve some of those interoperability and care integration problems that have been plaguing the industry."

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
Email the writer: mike.miliard@himssmedia.com