More providers join CommonWell

60+ providers on the platform to date
By Erin McCann
11:02 AM
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Doctors with laptop

Five more Cerner clients have agreed to tap CommonWell Health Alliance's interoperability services, the trade association announced Monday.

The five healthcare organizations joining the alliance are limited to small and mid-sized health systems, and include Seattle-based Virginia Mason Medical Center; EvergreenHealth in Kirkland, Wash.; Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Tuality Healthcare in Portland, Ore.; and the Shelton, Wash.-based Mason General Hospital & Family Clinics.

[See also: CommonWell Health Alliance plans nationwide expansion.]

Healthcare providers at these locations will now be able to share and exchange medical records with other regional docs that use Greenway and athenahealth EHRs, in addition to other providers nationwide who already use CommonWell.

CommonWell's core interoperability services, as officials explain, are built directly into EHR workflows and include patient identification and linking; record locator and retrieval; patient access, privacy and consent management; and certification and auditing services.

"Joining the CommonWell network with other healthcare organizations in the Pacific Northwest is good for our community," said Bill Poppy, senior vice president and chief technology officer at Virginia Mason Medical Center, in an Aug. 24 press statement announcing the agreement. "When patients and providers share access to a comprehensive version of the medical record, they are empowered to make more informed decisions about their care."

[See also: Epic trades jabs with CommonWell Health Alliance.]

Membership fees for the CommonWell Health Alliance range from $2,500 per year for NPO or government organizations to up to $75,000 per year for corporate members. Then there's the additional commercial and certification fees.

As of April 2015, more than 60 provider sites across 15 states were live on CommonWell.

Epic's interoperability framework Care Everywhere, on the other hand, boasts some bigger numbers. According to Epic officials, 95 percent of all EpicCare customers have at least one Care Everywhere connection to a non-Epic vendor. And the platform has connected thus far to 54 different EHR vendors' systems, 28 health information exchanges, 39 HISPs, the VA, DoD and the SSA.