Allscripts’ acquisition of a mobile and enterprise-based patient engagement company, HealthGrid Holding Co. has not taken the healthcare industry by surprise. It transitions to a more patient-centric approach to deliver care. This acquisition is a testimony to the trend where providers of health care services are critical toward adopting value or outcome-based care in order to arrest the cost and improve healthcare quality. This transforming care model mandates an approach where patients are empowered to participate in care delivery process and take accountability of their health thereby driving preventive care and driving down the overall cost. This has made it imperative for vendors such as Allscripts to equip themselves with patient engagement capabilities which is quite evident from this acquisition. Further, this is an effort to develop end-to-end capabilities in Population Health Management which encompasses patient engagement.
Significance of the deal to Allscripts
Going by the historical data, Allscripts has been moving very aggressively to establish itself as multifaceted end-to-end HIT provider for instance Allscripts acquisition of McKesson, Practice Fusion to boost its presence in Ambulatory and individual physician EHR, Content Management and revenue management cycle technologies which is very much imperative to deliver an end-to-end Population Health Management platform.
This M&A deal is one strategy to drive Allscripts’ ambitious vision of offering a more comprehensive patient engagement platform which would enable providers to connect with members throughout different phases of care continuum starting from pre-care, covering the point of care, and closing at post-care.
Moreover, Allscripts healthcare is operating in a highly saturated EHR industry plagued by slow growth and diminishing profit margins which could be a potential reason why they wanted to expand into less adopted high growth potential offerings such as PHM. Currently, Engagement platform is one of the areas where the adoption among the healthcare providers is as low as 30% but it is anticipated that advent of value-based care would lead to a torrential growth of adoption of the engagement platform in the near future.
And if different sources are to be believed, in order to develop a comprehensive end-to-end patient engagement solution, it would take a lot of investment and time if Allscripts tries to innovate internally and revamp its existing patient engagement portal. Hence, adopting a non-organic path to acquire newer IT solutions seemed to be a more desirable action. This acquisition is not only going to give rise to Allscripts opportunities but would also cut short the go-to-market duration.
What does HealthGrid bring on the table for Allscripts?
HealthGrid’s award winning platform CareNotify™ offers functionalities like new age CRM platform which enables value-based quality measures by driving outreach for appointments, education, medications, and hence closing the clinical gaps. It also enables providers to engage directly with patients and their family members to gain real-time insights about patient satisfaction through care assessment and surveys. This provides avenues to customize the services and deliver a more personalised care.
CareNotify™ also provides post care notifications such as prescription reminder, follow up appointment reminder, diet and lifestyle information, and education documents on patients mobile. Such personalised and pre-emptive clinical alerts potentially reduce the risk of avoidable readmissions and close the gaps in post care settings. To summarise it, this platform enables care givers to notify and engage patients throughout different phases of care delivery.
HealthGrid also offers a CareNarrative™ platform which offers pre-care campaign, real-time analytics, and automated referral coordination solutions over and above the functionalities listed above. This platform enables care givers to collaborate with the patients in real-time.
How Allscripts plans to capitalize on the product offerings of HealthGrid?
Acquisition of HealthGrid is not the maiden investment by Allscripts in the Patient Engagement area. Allscripts has an existing platform FollowMyHealth which is an EHR-based engagement platform that offers features such as personal health record, patient portal, and health information exchange. Currently it lacks the EHR-agnostic approach and features such as post care assessment/ surveys, outreach for appointments. From customer logos perspective, existing customers of Allscripts are the only ones who are on FollowMyHealth portal owing to its dependency on Allscripts EHR.
Allscripts plans to integrate HealthGrid platform’s functionalities with FollowMyHealth which would help Allscripts adopt her-agnostic approach thus broadening its horizon of reaching out to 100% providers and their patients as FollowMyHealth platform would no longer be dependent upon Allscripts EHR to make it work. HealthGrid’s features such as post care notifications, discharge surveys/ assessments, outreach for an appointment, personalised education materials would help Allscripts FollowMyHealth to overcome its existing functionality primitiveness and provide end-to-end comprehensive patient engagement experience throughout pre care, during care, and post care of the delivery setting.
HealthGrid has a vast customer base spanning across ambulatory care, acute care, post-acute care, and service more than 15,000 healthcare providers and 350 hospitals. Hence, this deal is not only going to benefit Allscripts’ existing customers as the new functionalities from HealthGrid kicks in but it would surely provide Allscripts direct access to existing customer base of HealthGrid ‘s patient engagement platform.
While acquisition and product integration plan seem rosy and attractive on paper, yet it remains to be seen how effectively Allscripts and HealthGrid’s product development team can collaborate effectively and create a glitch free unified solution for its customers. The success of the deal is not merely dependent on the seamless product integration but also the ability of both the organizations to weed out duplicate processes, people, and technology in order to achieve the full potential of such a consolidation.