Managed Services Meets Healthcare IT: The Latest Moves

In recent days MSPmentor has spotted a range of managed services news within the healthcare IT market. The latest chatter involves Auxilio, CSC, Sodexo and Surescripts. Here's the update.

CSC, an integrator and MSP, aims to help healthcare customers juggle multiple technology-related initiatives vying for attention. Why's that? The government’s meaningful use program -- which provides financial incentives to doctors and hospital that adopt electronic health records -- has become a focal point of health IT activity. But healthcare providers face a number of other challenges. Those include a government push for healthcare entities to create Accountable Care Organizations and a pending conversion to ICD-10, symptom and disease coding system used in electronic transactions.

With that situation in mind, CSC recent released a report that describes a roadmap for navigating the health IT landscape.  With Stage 1 of the multi-phase program well underway (see below), the roadmap is designed to keep near-term initiatives in perspective. Or, as CSC summarizes in its report, the roadmap “puts the immediate decisions about meeting ... Stage 1 requirements for hospitals into this broader context.”

A segment of the roadmap that focuses on efficiency goals, for example, recommends working on decision support to help meet meaningful use requirements and keeping an eye on the ICD-10 transition. The ICD-10 cutover is slated for October 2013.

Here’s how CSC uses the roadmap with its customers:

“We use it to start a discussion of where the hospital is now on the roadmap, and where they plan to be in 2-3 years,” said Erica Drazen, managing partner, Emerging Practices, at CSC. “Clients have also used it to compare their existing roadmap to ours -- to identify any gaps.”

She added that clients have also used the roadmap to help different stakeholders understand the big picture “so they can look beyond the current focus on meaningful use.”

Smaller Practices Lead E-prescribing Adoption

A recent report from Surescripts offers an insight into e-prescribing adoption that’s a bit counterintuitive.

The study found that small to mid-sized physician practices are snapping up e-prescribing systems at rates higher than large practices. According to Surescripts, which runs an e-prescribing network, practices with two to 10 physicians lead the way in e-prescribing adoption. Among practices in the the six to 10 physician category, 43.5 percent are active e-prescribers; 41.7 percent of the practices in the two to five physician range use e-prescribing.

In contrast, 21.9 percent of the practices with more than 100 doctors are active e-prescribers, Surescripts reported.

Did VARs and MSPs help smaller practices toward the higher adoption rate? A spokesman for Surescripts said the study didn’t explore that question. But it seems likely at some offices would have retained a local reseller or MSP, given the lack of IT personnel on hand.

As for the relatively low adoption at the high end -- perhaps that’s a market service providers should explore.

AUXILIO, Sodexo Deepen Relationship

AUXILIO Inc., which offers managed print services in the healthcare vertical, and Sodexo, which provides food and facilities services to hospitals, is getting more extensive.

The companies has announced a broader marketing alliance, which seeks to expand AUXILIO’s managed print work among Sodexo’s 1,300 hospital customers. The alliance captured a number of large awards last year. Those wins set the stage for the revised partnering arrangement.

Sodexo will boost its investment in AUXILIO’s sales resources and marketing efforts, according to the companies’ statement.

Joseph Flynn, president and CEO of AUXILIO, said the expanded alliance will let his company pursue opportunities with Sodexo customers nationwide. The partners has been more focused on particular regions such as the East Coast, he added. He also noted plans for a marketing program to build AUXILIO’s brand recognition in the healthcare space.

The alliance also has an equity angle. AUXILIO had previously issued Sodexo warrants to purchase 2 million shares of the company’s stock. Going forward, AUXILIO will provide Sodexo with “performance-based equity and cash commissions based on sales and growth achievements,” according to the companies.
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