Costco Begins Selling Allscripts EMRs To Doctors

Posted on December 30, 2011 I Written By

Katherine Rourke is a healthcare journalist who has written about the industry for 30 years. Her work has appeared in all of the leading healthcare industry publications, and she's served as editor in chief of several healthcare B2B sites.

A little earlier this month American Medical News had an article about Costco selling EHR software. This doesn’t come as a big surprise since Walmart had been selling an EHR out of Sam’s Club for quite a while. Although, that program was discontinued shortly after the initial launch. Here’s a piece of the Allscripts MyWay EHR offering in Costco for those that missed it:

Costco has partnered with Etransmedia Technology to sell Allscripts MyWay EHR and practice management systems at Costco stores nationally. The store hopes physicians looking to collect incentive money for meaningful use of electronic medical records will take advantage of the deal.

Costco executive members can implement the integrated EMR/practice management system for $499 a month. For nonexecutive members, the price is $599 a month. The pricing is based on a 60-month contract, according to costcoehr.com, a website Etransmedia launched to promote the deal.

The Allscripts MyWay system offered by Costco is an integrated, Web-based EMR and practice management solution that includes e-prescribing, electronic claims and a patient portal. The monthly fee includes maintenance, support and hosting as well as online training. Allscripts advertises the EMR and PM systems separately on its website for $375 and $225, respectively, per full-time physician, per month.

Costco is not offering a deep discount for the systems, but the company said it is “simplifying the buying process” by offering a product it “carefully” selected.

Despite this having been done before, I’m still seeing a lot of people on social media sites that are asking why Costco would offer an EHR. The answer to me is simple: marketing. I remember reading the story of a practice that had gone through a thorough EHR selection process that was de-railed thanks to a Sam’s Club ad about EHR software. Something’s wrong with that practice in my opinion, but the reality of EHR sales is that the sale often hinges on the littlest thing. Even if that little thing is a Costco ad.

Yes, Costco EHR just doesn’t make sense, but when you consider it as a relatively inexpensive way to market your product to doctors, maybe it’s not that strange. Although, I could think of other more targeted ways to market EHR software.

While you’re at Costco purchasing your EHR, be sure to pick up a pack of those Fat Boy ice cream sandwiches. I’m sure they’ll make a great addition to your EHR implementation. It’s amazing what food will do to enhance staff morale.