HIMSS15: Epic to remove data sharing fee
- Epic Systems has revealed that it will no longer charge a fee for data transfers between Epic customers and non-Epic customers through its Care Elsewhere module. "We're not going to charge for Care Everywhere for at least until 2020," CEO Judy Faulkner said.
- Up until now, clinical messages sent to an information exchange were priced at 20 cents apiece and incoming messages from a non-Epic system cost $2.35 for that patient for a year for unlimited messages, according to Faulkner.
- Faulkner said the company "thought it was cheaper" than its competitors, but found the fees irritated customers.
Realistically, those fees only account for a tiny, tiny portion of Epic's revenue, so it seems smart to simply eliminate them, given what looks like increased federal heat. The ONC filed a Congressional report last week accusing "some healthcare providers and health IT developers" for "knowingly interfering with the exchange or use of electronic health information in ways that limit its availability."
Plus, the company's competitors are already moving in that direction (Modern Healthcare's Joseph Conn called this an "interoperability price war"). Cerner CEO Neal Patterson said last year that the company would cover its customers' costs for participation in CommonWell Health Alliance through 2017, and athenahealth said it would do so indefinitely through the Alliance.
- Modern Healthcare Epic, other EHR vendors agree to waive record-sharing fees