EHR Vendors Offer Group Purchase Agreements to WIREC Providers

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The Washington & Idaho Regional Extension Center (WIREC) announced today that seven electronic health records (EHR) vendors have agreed to offer WIREC-enrolled providers discounted rates and enhanced service level agreements through the WIREC Group Purchase Program.

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"WIREC will continue to work with all qualifying providers, regardless of the certified EHR they use. However, we see great value in a group purchase option."
Peggy Evans, PhD, WIREC Director

The Washington & Idaho Regional Extension Center (WIREC) announced today that seven electronic health records (EHR) vendors have agreed to offer WIREC-enrolled providers discounted rates and enhanced service level agreements through the WIREC Group Purchase Program. The vendors, Allscripts, eClinicalWorks, eMDs, GE, Greenway, NextGen and Pulse, were identified by the Group Purchase Stakeholder Committee (a committee of representatives from the priority primary-care providers, administrators and information technology (IT) specialists actively practicing within the Regional Extension Center’s geographic service area), as companies that offer strong feature sets, solid service level agreements and competitive pricing to primary care providers throughout Idaho and Washington.

“WIREC will continue to work with all qualifying providers, regardless of the certified EHR they use. However, we see great value in a group purchase option. In addition to providing discounted rates, vendors identified by the Stakeholder Committee agreed to favorable contract terms and provisions that small practices might not be able to negotiate on their own,” said Peggy Evans, PhD, WIREC Director. Dr. Evans stressed that WIREC remains vendor neutral, and neither recommends nor endorses specific EHR systems.

The group purchase EHR systems met the clinical and technical criteria established by the Group Purchase Stakeholder Committee. Included in these criteria was a list of “must have” features specific to the needs of primary care providers. “We are grateful to the stakeholders who aided their peers by conducting an extensive proposal review of numerous companies. EHR selection and implementation is overwhelming; having a pre-negotiated EHR agreement as a result of having met certain criteria established by the Group Purchase Stakeholder Committee is of significant value to the independent or small practice provider,” Dr. Evans explained.

As soon as this spring, qualifying providers who demonstrate “meaningful use” of their EHRs will be eligible to receive incentive payments from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Recognizing the ability EHRs have to help providers transform and improve healthcare quality, WIREC offers free health IT consulting to help primary care providers plan for, implement and optimize usage of their EHR systems.

WIREC Group Purchase Program benefits are available only to WIREC enrolled providers. Enrollment in WIREC is still open to eligible Washington and Idaho primary care providers. For more information, see http://www.wirecQH.org.

About WIREC
Led by Qualis Health, WIREC provides technical assistance, guidance, vendor-neutral EHR adoption services, and information to eligible healthcare professionals to help them achieve meaningful use of EHRs and qualify for CMS incentive payments. WIREC was awarded a Cooperative Agreement through an objective review process by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC). WIREC serves as a direct pipeline to the national Regional Extension Center program, leveraging our connection to a national collaborative of RECs while bringing local expertise to support providers across the region with technical assistance for successful EHR adoption.

WIREC’s provider technical assistance is carried out by a group of the region’s premier health IT adoption organizations, including Community Choice, Idaho Health Data Exchange, North Idaho Health Network, PTSO of Washington and Qualis Health.

About Qualis Health
Qualis Health is dedicated to improving the quality of healthcare delivery and health outcomes for individuals and populations across the nation. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, the nonprofit healthcare quality improvement and consulting organization strives to achieve performance excellence for our clients by focusing on best practices and providing a range of services that lead to better quality care, high patient and provider satisfaction and greater efficiency. Qualis Health holds the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) contracts for Idaho and Washington, and also provides care management, quality assessment and improvement and health information technology consulting services across the country. The organization’s products and services directly influence care delivered to over 10 million people.

This material was prepared by Qualis Health, as part of our work as the Washington & Idaho Regional Extension Center, under grant #90RC0033/01 from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, Department of Health and Human Services.

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Evan Stults
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