Cerner picking up big business from small hospitals

New KLAS market share report also shows athenahealth hospital clients more than doubled in 2016.
By Mike Miliard
02:07 PM
New KLAS market share report

Small hospitals made for the majority of new business for Cerner this past year, according to a new KLAS report, due to the popularity of its easy-to-use CommunityWorks platform.

In fact, the KLAS report found many technology vendors are shifting strategies to the community hospital space, as providers with fewer than 200 beds accounted for nearly 80 percent of EHR buying decisions in 2016.

[Also: Jonathan Bush: Athenahealth relishes 'stealing patients']

Epic continued its market growth, too, but mostly with larger hospitals and integrated delivery networks. More than half of IDN contracts went to Epic in 2016, according to KLAS. About one-quarter opted for Cerner, however, and one of those network contracts was for a consortium of 30 "microhospitals" of fewer than 15 beds, according to KLAS.

In general, small hospitals are recognizing the need for reasonably priced interoperability with proliferating Epic hospitals, the report showed, and many smaller facilities have also contracted for Epic's Community Connect tool to enable that.

Another development in 2016 was athenahealth's continued foray into the acute space since entering the market in 2015. The Watertown, Massachusetts company more than doubled its hospital clients, with one-third of them having more than 25 beds. KLAS says the new customers like the agile cloud-based platform, unique cost structure and inpatient/outpatient integration.

Still, the report suggests that perceived functionality gaps among ancillary departments could have some hospitals looking elsewhere, and KLAS said it will be looking for further evidence of sustainability for athenahealth's scaled-up hospital efforts.

For more traditional community hospital vendors MEDITECH and CPSI, the news in 2016 wasn't so rosy. The former company did gain 17 new hospital clients, but of its legacy customers that made a purchasing decision this past year, more than half opted for a new vendor. Most of them cited insufficient development and skepticism that the technology will be able to meet their future needs, according to KLAS.

Meanwhile, about half of the hospitals that replaced either CPSI's Evident or Healthland platforms opted to go with athenahealth, looking for better usability and support, the report showed.

Other EHR vendors in the KLAS report included Allscripts (retention and wins meant a net gain in 2016, its clients citing "strong functionality with some gaps"); eClinicalWorks ("very little movement … lost key inpatient development customer in 2016"); MedHost ("slight decrease in overall acute care market share") and McKesson ("many users feel Paragon does not meet their needs, and many are uncertain about its future due to McKesson’s plans to sell it").

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