American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists

Are you aware that Congress recently directed HHS to identify EHR vendors who actively limit interoperability and to develop a report on data blocking?

Congress recently directed HHS to identify EHR vendors who actively limit interoperability and to develop a report on data blocking. To improve advocacy efforts, and to get a better understanding of these issues, the AMA has reached out to national societies and special societies to collect data on how much vendors are charging to exchange information. This could include, but is not limited to:

• Interface costs to connect EHRs to health information exchanges (HIE);
• Monthly or per-transaction costs associated with the use of health information service providers (HISP) [which may or may not be part of your vendor’s fees];
• Contractual limits on which parties EHR vendors will exchange information with;
• Contract language that explicitly states EHR vendors own data;
• Switching costs to migrate between EHRs; or
• Any other expenses not identified above required to exchange data.

Samples below are from very useful responses we received. Please be as specific as possible in your response. Names and any characteristics that could be used to identify those who provide the information will be removed from anything that is shared by the AMA.

  One physician was departing Greenway and trying to get a download of patient data. Greenway could have activated an option called “administrative utility.” Rather than providing functionality, company charged $10K to provide patient data to physician so he could migrate to his new EHR.

  Physician user of AthenaHealth is charged a lab interface fee of $1200 to $1500 per lab connection. He has 3, but needs at least 2 more.

  One physician was with GE. GE sunsetted the product he was using and forcing him to their more expensive product after only 9 months of use. Physician decided he could not afford, and did not want higher-priced product. Physician chose e-ClinicalWorks.   To transfer only 9 months of patient data cost him $12K.

  Practices participating in Stage 1 must now implement the patient portal module of their EHR. One vendor charges $1,500 to add this module, and then an ongoing subscription fee of $69 per month. When the practice suggested they could not afford that price tag, and would shop elsewhere, the vendor alerted them that the interface fees to integrate patient information with a third-party portal provider would be even higher.

  NextGen is charging 10-physician groups $25K - $30K upfront fees to connect to the HIE. Did not even get to the point in the conversation to discuss maintenance fees. Not enough value for the physicians to pay the fees to even start participating with an HIE.

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