Free EMR Newsletter Want to receive the latest news on EMR, Meaningful Use, ARRA and Healthcare IT sent straight to your email? Join thousands of healthcare pros who subscribe to EMR and EHR for FREE!

$34 Million Series C Funding for Practice Fusion

Posted on June 28, 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.

Artis Ventures led the Series C funding round for Practice Fusion. They raised $34 million in this round with them now having raised over $64 million total. The full list of investors joining the Series C round includes long-time investors Felicis Ventures and Band of Angels, plus Glynn Capital, Ali and Hadi Partovi, Founders Fund, Morgenthaler Ventures, Scott Banister, SV Angel, Ghost Angel, and several other institutional and individual investors.

Some other good stats from the Techcrunch article on the EHR investment:
*Currently 170 employees, and expect to reach 250 employees by year’s end
*Added 4x a many users as Allscripts last quarter (Who Ryan Howard considers their largest competitor)
*2012 Q1 Revenue was “comfortably in the seven figure range”
*Hosts 40 million patient records
*150,000 doctors signed up (This is their signed up user number, not their active user number)
*7 months ago they were at 25 million records and 130,000 signups

I also found this Techcrunch quote fascinating: “Howard was careful choosing Artis Ventures to lead the round, telling me “it’s a wedding. You’re married to that investor. Artis is a hedge fund with a venture fund. It’s preparing us. It’s who would be buyers in a public market” indicating the company has its sights on an IPO.”

It’s worth noting that the founding doctor/CMO (Chief Medical Officer), Robert Rowley, MD, also recently left Practice Fusion. He’s still actively blogging about healthcare IT on Robert Rowley, MD and he tells me it was an amicable departure. I think it’s noteworthy though since Dr. Rowley was the physician face of Practice Fusion since the start of the company.

There’s no doubt that Practice Fusion is now a major player in the EHR world. Although, I’m still interested to see if they can live up to a $64 million financing at around a half a billion dollar valuation. I wonder how quickly things like having their software built using Flash will catch up with them. Plus, Practice Fusion was designed with the small doctor office in mind. Will it be able to evolve its platform to be able to support larger group practices?

I do think they have the right culture when it comes to opening up their data to other outside developers that will be required for them to have a widely adopted healthcare platform. We’ll see how the healthcare ecosystem responds to that type of open platform. They now have plenty of money in the bank to be able to find out.

Full Disclosure: Practice Fusion is an advertiser on a couple Healthcare Scene websites.

EMR Market Numbers and Number of EHR Vendors with 0 Meaningful Use Attestations

Posted on June 21, 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.

Since I’ve kind of turned EMR Thoughts into an EMR and healthcare IT market website, I feel I should definitely point out this post I did on EMR and HIPAA about the Meaningful Use EHR Vendor Breakout by Percentage. It’s a really interesting post looking at which EHR vendors are doing well with meaningful use attestation and a look at what that means in the broader EHR market.

In the comments, Dr. Rowley (who first posted some of the meaningful use numbers) offered this added insight that I think is worth highlighting:

Here’s another observation on the ambulatory EHR market. If you look at all the Certified complete EHRs on the CMS CHPL list, and compare that to the HHS Meaningful Use list from data.gov, you will see that 284 vendors had products that were used (at least once) for MU attestion; however 295 additional vendors had NO usage of their products for MU attestation in 2011. More argument to a very crowded field, and lots of products in the market with perhaps no usage (or, at least, no Meaningful Usage).

Nearly 300 EHR vendors are listed on the list of Complete Certified EHR and had 0 meaningful use attestations! Wow! I guess I shouldn’t be that surprised since I even know a number of EHR vendors that still aren’t complete EHR certified. The volume of EHR companies is just astounding to me though.

These will be important numbers to look at near the end of 2012. We’ll see how many of those nearly 300 EHR companies still don’t have any meaningful use attestations.

Would National Patient Identifiers Work?

Posted on January 25, 2012 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.

Right now,  healthcare organizations have to go through some pretty tricky maneuvers to link patient data across varied systems and settings.  It’s possible to connect patient info electronically through database hacks, but more often than not, matching patients to clinical data gets done by hand.

Given the insane complexity of the existing system, would it make sense to create a national patient identification number for every U.S. patient?  The question is worth revisiting, given the immense level of error and wasted time generated by the existing system. After all, not only would putting an NPI in place make it easier to track patients within a hospital or health system, it would simplify the rollout of HIEs dramatically, wouldn’t it?

Dr. Robert Rowley of EMR vendor Practice Fusion notes that the biggest enemies of establishing a National Patient Identifier are privacy advocates who feel that an NPI would expose patients to greater risk of breaches or misuse of data.

But is that a realistic concern? Probably not. I agree with Dr. Rowley, who asserts that it’s hard to imagine that PHI would be at greater risk simply because of how it’s indexed.  As he notes, PHI breaches are nearly always often haphazard affairs in which a laptop is stolen than Big Government or corporate conspiracies. (If you’re afraid the government is covertly siphoning your health data off to study it, not having an NPI won’t protect you, anyway.)

No, the real barrier to this kind of administrative simplification measure is time, money and resources, the same barriers that hold back any other proposed HIT project.  It’s hard to imagine the resources that would be involved in instituting such a system — the idea makes my head hurt — and I have to assume it’d be several years before it was anything like mature.

Still, it’s good to bear in mind that at least some members of the public are afraid that creating an NPI would compromise their privacy. If the only barrier to improving patient matching in our EMRs is technical, that’s one thing — but if it’s patient fears, that’s another thing entirely. Sometimes, it’s good to remember that most of the world doesn’t think like a health IT exec.