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Allscripts Drops Lawsuit Over $303 Million Deal

Posted on March 27, 2013 I Written By

Anne Zieger is veteran healthcare consultant and analyst with 20 years of industry experience. Zieger formerly served as editor-in-chief of FierceHealthcare.com and her commentaries have appeared in dozens of international business publications, including Forbes, Business Week and Information Week. She has also contributed content to hundreds of healthcare and health IT organizations, including several Fortune 500 companies. Contact her at @ziegerhealth on Twitter or visit her site at Zieger Healthcare.

Allscripts has agreed to drop a lawsuit against the New York City Health & Hospitals Corp. over a $303 million contract, Bloomberg reports.  In a display of what may be wishful thinking, Allscripts said it “looks forward to having the opportunity to work with HHC on other matters in the future,” according to Bloomberg.

Allscripts had sued the Health & Hospitals Corp., which runs the city’s public hospitals, when it awarded an EMR contract to Epic Systems. The contract involved tying together 11 public hospitals, 70 clinics, thousands of doctors and more than one million patients.

Allscripts had argued that it was a more logical choice because among other things, it offered a less costly choice. Execs had estimated that over 15 years, when ancillary costs are included, it would cost $1.4 billion to implement Epic, while its own EMR rollout could be completed for less than half that number.

But Alan Aviles, HHC’s CEO, argued that his team had given plenty of consideration to Epic’s rivals, spending four years on its nine-vendor shortlist. Moreover, he didn’t buy Allscripts’ savings estimates, according to a New York Times piece. Aviles noted that Allscripts’ estimate had assumed that application support for its product would cost nothing for 15 years, while HHC estimated the cost at $357 million.

Well, I don’t know what good all of this legal fencing did Allscripts. The vendor is already under closer scrutiny than its peers, given its management troubles and continued rumors that it will be acquired. I’d argue that the last thing it needs is to dissipate executive energies on a lawsuit that makes it look unreasonable or even desperate. But at least its leaders had the sense to drop the suit and move on.

Now it can turn its energies to the MyWay suit filed against it by a group of Florida physicians. The suit claims that the MyWay EMR, which was taken off the market last year, was defective, and that the offer of a free upgrade to its professional suite imposed additional costs.

Allscripts (MDRX) Sued Over Discontinuing MyWay Support

Posted on January 10, 2013 I Written By

Anne Zieger is veteran healthcare consultant and analyst with 20 years of industry experience. Zieger formerly served as editor-in-chief of FierceHealthcare.com and her commentaries have appeared in dozens of international business publications, including Forbes, Business Week and Information Week. She has also contributed content to hundreds of healthcare and health IT organizations, including several Fortune 500 companies. Contact her at @ziegerhealth on Twitter or visit her site at Zieger Healthcare.

A group of Florida doctors have filed what they hope will roll up into a nice, fat class action suit against Allscripts over the vendor’s discontinuing support for its medical practice-oriented MyWay system. The suit was filed by Panama City-based Pain Clinic of Northwest FL, which says it spent about $40,000 to implement MyWay.

The suit claims that MyWay is so flawed that some Allscripts customers haven’t been able to meet Meaningful Use standards using the system. That being said, dropping support left about 5,000 small group physicians who bought MyWay in a jam, it argues. The plaintiffs say the system Allscripts is offering as a free upgrade, EHR Pro, is more aimed at the needs of large practices.

Making things worse, EHR Pro really isn’t free, the Pain Clinic’s lawyers say. “MyWay users – already unhappy with a defective product they paid enormous money to acquire, train and develop – must learn a new interface after spending so much time acclimating to the old system, and will continue to suffer the financial loss of the time and expense to re-train employees and migrate data, as well as the added cost to license and maintain a more complicated software program that exceeds the needs of most small physician practice groups,” the complaint says, according to a piece in the South Florida Business Journal.

In perhaps the most scandalous allegation, the clinic bringing the suit claims that Allscripts is asking for thousands of dollars in fees from users to release their data back to them if they don’t want to use EHR Pro. If this were true, it certainly wouldn’t do much for Allscripts’ reputation with potential medical group buyers; after all, nobody wants their clinical data held for ransom.

Whether or not the Florida pain clinic manages to pull together a large enough group to get certified as a class, if I were Allscripts I’d be careful with this one. It could end up as a PR debacle if nothing else.

Allscripts MyWay to Allscripts Pro Migration

Posted on November 26, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

We’ve been tracking the major news that Allscripts was discontinuing MyWay since the news first came out. One of the major questions I had was how the VARs were going to react to the news. Aprima has made a big case for MyWay users to go with them and they have a pretty compelling case to make.

I got an email that a VAR sent out to its users that makes a pretty compelling case for Aprima versus Allscripts Pro. I copied part of the email below. When you look at the list of items that won’t be moved from Myway to Allscripts Pro, I think my prediction that few users will make that transition is ever more solid. Although, the question still remains how many will go with Aprima versus some other EHR. If Aprima does a solid job with the VARs, then it could be a really big win for them.

Here’s part of the email the VAR sent:

Aprima’s Upgrade Program Gives You…

  • Free Aprima licenses for Allscripts customers whose product is being migrated – no need to re-buy software!
  • Same core product – the Allscripts product being migrated started as Aprima 2008
  • Same look and feel with nearly 1,000 enhancements
  • Minimal learning curve of new features, minimal to no downtime
  • Your existing data intact; this is a proven product upgrade, not a conversion
  • Live webinars and on-site training available
  • Ongoing upgrades and development of the product, no end of life sun setting
  • Product will meet Meaningful Use and support ICD10
  • Support is U.S.-based

It is important to note with the migration to Allscripts PRO, data will be exported from one system into another and not all data will come across during this process.  MyWay and PRO are very different.  As a result, you will need to be retrained on the new system and create new workflows. Most significantly, none of the financial data will be included, so you will be left with running down old balances in MyWay while setting up the new PRO PM. See below for a list of data points that will not be migrated:

  • Financial Transaction Data
  • Financial History, Superbills, Payment, and Adjustment transaction detail will not be migrated into the Allscripts PM system.
  • Allscripts MyWay clients will continue to use their current system to work down their previous Accounts Receivable for a period of time.
  • Current Patient account-forward financial balances in Allscripts MyWay will not be migrated to Allscripts PM.
  • PM reporting details and history will not be migrated from Allscripts MyWay into the Allscripts PM system.
  • Practice management reports will be replaced by the Allscripts PM reporting capabilities.
  • Insurance claim status and reimbursement history will not be migrated from Allscripts MyWay into Allscripts PM.
  • The Integrated Easy Pay credit card processing feature in Allscripts MyWay is not compatible with Allscripts PM and will not be migrated. Clients can use the Intuit Pay Page functionality in Allscripts PM or use a non-integrated credit card solution for credit card processing.
  • Allscripts MyWay Audit Trail detail will not be migrated into Allscripts PM.
  • Will require retraining for you and your staff
  • Will require additional data conversion
  • Online training + potential weekend time if you want live, hands-on sessions
  • Possible reduced patient load during transition

Allscripts and Aprima Settle MyWay Lawsuit

Posted on November 8, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Many of you will have read my post talking about the news that Allscripts was discontinuing development of their MyWay EHR product. It was very big news because so many had adopted the MyWay EHR and so many Vars were affected by the decision. Aprima saw it as a great opportunity to “rescue” MyWay EHR users since Aprima (formerly iMedica) created the MyWay software in the first place and then licensed it to Allscripts. Although, they retained rights to the software as well and with that they changed iMedica to what is now known as Aprima.

With this history it made a lot of sense for Aprima to offer Allscripts MyWay EHR users an alternative. In fact, I think you can make a great argument for why MyWay users could more easily transfer to Aprima than any other Allscripts EHR product. Although, considering the dissatisfaction I saw from MyWay users, I expect many will be looking for a complete EHR change. I’m sure Aprima would argue that their almost 1000 enhancements make it a much better product than what current MyWay users have been given.

Regardless of the choice that current MyWay users make, Allscripts didn’t take kindly to the nature of Aprima’s marketing when the news of MyWay’s condition was announced and so Allscripts filed a lawsuit against Aprima.

I just received a copy of a press release from Aprima stating that Aprima and Allscripts have reached a settlement in the lawsuit that Allscripts filed. You can see the press release below.

If you’re a MyWay user or MyWay Var, I’d love to hear your perspectives, plans, and thoughts. Feel free to leave them in the comments or privately on our EMR Thoughts contact page.

Settlement reached ON ALL LEGAL MATTERS and the Aprima Rescue PlanTM remains in place for customers of Allscripts MyWayTM.

Dallas, TX (November 8, 2012) – Aprima Medical Software announced today that it has reached a mutually agreeable settlement in the lawsuit brought on October 19, 2012 by Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, LLC. In that lawsuit, Allscripts alleged that some of Aprima’s advertising copy violated various state and federal laws. The parties reached an amicable resolution and will continue pursuing their respective business goals. Under the settlement terms, Aprima has modified some of the advertising copy associated with its Aprima Rescue Plan™ for those who currently use the Allscripts MyWay™ product, and who may be looking to replace that product in light of Allscripts’ October 3 announcement about its future.

Allscripts MyWayTM is the EHR product offered by Allscripts that it has opted not to develop or update to be in compliance with government incentives and requirements such as Meaningful Use and ICD-10.

The Aprima Rescue PlanTM remains in place for customers of Allscripts MyWayTM. Many believe this program – and Aprima’s EHR and PM products – to be the most practical and viable option for providers, since the original Allscripts MyWay™ application was based on the source code that Allscripts licensed from Aprima in 2008.

Allscripts MyWay™ resellers and customers can maintain and even strengthen their current business relationships. Aprima is offering an easy upgrade for practices that may feel frustrated by Allscripts’ announcement about MyWay™ and anxious – or even outraged – about the prospect of a potentially expensive conversion if they want to demonstrate 5010 and ICD-10 compliance, or qualify for government incentives including Meaningful Use Stage 2, PQRS, e-Prescribing, and others.

Providers who bought Allscripts MyWay™ for a specific reason, such as the unique non-template approach to charting, the speed and ease-of-use, and the adaptive learning feature, are typically averse to having to change to something that is very different.

Aprima Rescue PlanTM for customers of Allscripts MyWayTM includes:
• Free Aprima licenses for each Allscripts MyWayTM license – no need to repurchase software; up to an $8,500 savings per provider
• Similar look and feel; Aprima has made nearly 1,000 enhancements since it licensed the original source code to Allscripts in 2008, including hundreds of substantive improvements to the Practice Management system
• Minimal learning curve, since it is only needed for the new features
Allscripts and Aprima Settle Legal Matters, continued
Aprima is a registered trademark of Aprima Medical Software. All other trademarks are the property of their
respective owners. Allscripts MyWay™ is a product of Allscripts HealthCare Solutions, LLC. Aprima is not affiliated
with Allscripts HealthCare Solutions, LLC. Page 2 of 2
• Minimal downtime compared to what is typical when changing systems and having to re-learn many new workflows
• Existing data remains intact; this is a proven product upgrade, not a conversion
• U.S.-based support

Aprima is pleased to be able to offer a lifeline to these users for minimal cost and with virtually no downtime. This will circumvent the need for Allscripts MyWayTM users to switch to another Allscripts EMR product, which would require a change in systems, plus a potentially arduous data conversion and retraining period, thus creating additional mental, physical and financial disruption to the practice.

“Ironically, Allscripts MyWayTM users can avoid such a potentially expensive and disruptive situation by switching to Aprima instead of another Allscripts product. We welcome these customers to the Aprima family and we are thrilled to be able to easily upgrade our ‘cousins’ to the Aprima way,” said Aprima president and CEO Michael Nissenbaum. “The difference between a conversion and a simple and proven upgrade can also make the difference on whether practices will achieve compliance on important healthcare initiatives. We are very pleased with the outcome of this legal situation.”

More Information
For more information, or to sign up for the Aprima Rescue PlanTM for customers of Allscripts MyWayTM, visit www.aprima.com/rescue, call 866-960-6890, option 7, or email rescue@aprima.com.
About Aprima Medical Software, Inc.

Aprima provides innovative electronic health record, practice management and revenue cycle management solutions for medical practices. The Aprima EHR/PM is an integrated system built on a single database. Aprima uses a fast, flexible design that adapts automatically to a physician’s workflow and sets the benchmark for ease-of-use, speed and flexibility. Aprima is one of the few companies with a 14-year track record of success, including CCHIT Certification consistently every year as well as ONC Certification for 2011/2012. Thousands of Aprima users are benefiting from improved quality of care, improved patient satisfaction, improved quality of life and an improved bottom line. Based in Carrollton, TX, Aprima performs all development, support, and implementation from the U.S. To learn more about how Aprima can help your practice, please visit www.aprima.com, call us at 866-960-6890, option 7, or email us at info@aprima.com.

# # # #

Contact:
Judy Friedman jfriedman@aprima.com (214) 466-8093

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.

Allscripts Sunsetting PeakPractice EMR

Posted on October 28, 2010 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

It’s now official. Allscripts will be shutting down their PeakPractice EMR solution. In an FAQ for PeakPractice clients Allscripts gave more details. I’ve put a copy of the info below for reference. Honestly, this wasn’t much of a surprise for me. Allscripts had far too many EMR software in one company. It seems that Allscripts has chosen to go with: MyWay, Professional and MedFlow as their EMR packages going forward.

I do find it interesting that Allscripts plans to support PeakPractice through the first stage of meaningful use. I think the time frames were just too small to do otherwise. If there was a bit more time it would have made sense for Allscripts to use the stimulus money to motivate people to move off of PeakPractice and on to one of the other Allscripts EMR.

I’m honestly interested to hear how well the conversion goes between PeakPractice and other Allscripts EMR solutions. I think there’s going to be a lot of misinformation about what the can and can’t convert. Especially since it seems like what they’ll be able to convert will depend on which Allscripts EMR software you choose to convert to. Yeah, this has mess written all over it.

I’ll be watching for the next round of companies that take care of EMR conversions from PeakPractice. I remember the round when all the Misys users were ready to convert from Misys to something other than Allscripts. I expect we’ll see similar movement by PeakPractice EMR users. So much for going with a large company to ensure the stability of your EMR software.

Here’s the letter from Allscripts to PeakPractice Users:

Dear Valued PeakPractice Client,

When we brought together Allscripts and Eclipsys, we committed to you that we would share critical decisions as soon as they were complete.

After careful deliberation and review, we are making a change to our future plans for PeakPractice. In making this decision, our goal was to ensure that we could effectively meet your needs both now and in the future by providing you with systems that are stable, easy to support, and flexible enough to allow us to quickly respond to the rapidly changing market and regulatory requirements.

After careful analysis, we have decided to make the following changes.

We will continue development of the current version (5.5) of PeakPractice and ensure that it achieves ARRA Certification as a Complete EHR. We will be submitting this version for certification later in October. This will allow you, as a current PeakPractice client, to use the certified version to demonstrate Stage 1 Meaningful Use and claim your 2011 Stimulus incentives. With this version, you will be eligible for the first two years of incentives for Stimulus, totaling $30,000 under the Medicare program ($18,000 in year 1 and $12,000 in year 2).

We will continue development to ensure PeakPractice’s compliance with ANSI 5010, which will be released as PeakPractice version 5.6.

We will continue to provide support and hot fixes as needed for PeakPractice for the foreseeable future.
Relative to future versions, we will not develop net new features for PeakPractice once ARRA certification and ANSI 5010 compliance are achieved.

We will offer an upgrade path that includes both a FREE like-for-like, license-for-license swap and a FREE data conversion (see below) for current PeakPractice clients who want to upgrade to another Allscripts solution. We expect that many of our clients will choose to wait to upgrade until after you demonstrate Meaningful Use in 2011 with PeakPractice and receive your Stimulus incentives.

We have set up a PeakPractice Hotline at 877-611-1377 to both answer questions and arrange an assessment as to which Allscripts EHR/PM platform will be best for your organization.

We will work with you to determine the product and timeline that is designed to be most effective for you and have the least impact on your operations. We would encourage you to consider scheduling an upgrade to your EHR/PM solution at a time that is best for you, again, most likely after you have demonstrated Meaningful Use in 2011.

In terms of the upgrade we are making available, we will provide the following.

A FREE like-for-like, license-for-license swap between PeakPractice and a corresponding Allscripts EHR and/or PM solution (MyWay, Professional or MedFlow, depending upon your needs). We recognize there are many complexities surrounding the combinations of Practice Management and EHR products, but our program addresses each of these in detail.

We will convert data from your PeakPractice system to the selected Allscripts solution for FREE. Again, the scope of what will be converted varies depending on the systems from which and to which you are migrating.

Please note that while templates are not included in this conversion, we can recommend resources that can assist with template conversions, if you wish to pursue them. Likewise, other services (such as ASP fees, support, set-up, hosting, and EDI, such as through Payerpath) are available for the Allscripts products, but are not part of the free upgrade. We will be happy to discuss how to arrange for those services with you. This free upgrade is available through December 31, 2012. This should give everyone ample time to decide which route they wish to pursue.

We do not make this change lightly, as we recognize and appreciate the investment that you have made in this solution.
You will likely have many questions about this process, and we hope this link to our Frequently Asked Questions document addresses many of them. If you have further questions, please call the PeakPractice hotline (877-611-1377) or your Allscripts representative.

We intend to provide you with a pathway that allows you to achieve all stages of Meaningful Use and protects the investment you have made. We are committed to working with you as partners during and after this transition.