An Intriguing Twist, EMR And Payroll Vendor Come Together

Posted on March 2, 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.

Today I caught wind of an interesting deal, in which giant payroll services vendor ADP acquired EMR/practice management vendor AdvancedMD.  Here’s how the two justify the deal:

“By leveraging the collective offering of AdvancedMD’s PM and EHR solutions, and combining that with ADP’s full set of services and long-standing history of serving medical professionals, ADP is now uniquely positioned as an integrated, single-source provider of Medical Practice Optimization.”

I’m not sure what they mean by “Medical Practice Optimization,” though it is a keen and catchy phrase, but let’s hazard a guess, shall we?

Even if high-deductible health plans never capture a large segment of the insured population, doctors still want their co-pays and deductibles immediately. This, of course, would not be handled by an EMR.

However, I can visualize some hybrid in which real-time care feedback from EMR improves the input into the practice management system, which improves coding and ultimately, improves the accuracy of patient billing.  Add real-time claims processing to the mix, and you’ve got the know-how for some greatly improved cash flow for practices.

However, I doubt it will be easy to roll up the knowledge an ADP has with a wide range of EMRs, so this may be a blip on the map. Though AdvancedMD is apparently used by 4,100 practices, they have more than a bit of competition for the small- to mid-sized EMR market, no?

In any event, I’m left wondering whether we’ll have revenue cycle management firms, banks or other financial entities buying EMRs. This could be worth watching.