MGMA 2010 – Eric Morgan (AdvancedMD)

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Eric Fishman with EHRtv in New Orleans at MGMA 2010 speaking with Eric Morgan, the President and CEO of Advanced MD.

Category: Featured, MGMA 2010, Tradeshows
Date: January 3, 2011
Views:6,067 views

Eric Fishman: This is Eric Fishman with EHR TV and we are in New Orleans at MGMA 2010, and I have the pleasure of speaking with Eric Morgan, the President and CEO of Advanced MD. Eric, thank you for taking your time and spending a little of it with us here today.

Eric Morgan: Thank you for having me.

Eric Fishman: So, an executive in a growing electronic health record practice management system in the year 2010, things must be going ahead very quickly in your industry. We understand you recently purchased a product called Practice One.

Eric Morgan: That's right.

Eric Fishman: And have integrated that into the Advanced MD underlying product. If you could explain that process and what the end result was, that would be, I think, very helpful?

Eric Morgan: Sure. Well, we bought Practice One really with the primary focus of having a web-based EHR product. It was a 2008 certified product and we brought it and integrated it into our product. We are offering it as a pure software as a service. So, it's all web-based solution integrated into our product that's been in the market for about 10 years. So, the real goal was to provide that solution to our target market which is really the smaller physician offices who are not really in a position to spend a lot of money and have a lot of capital to spend upfront. So, they are able to get into the solution for it – just really a few thousand dollars upfront and then in many cases just several hundred dollars a month for the subscription. So, it kind of removes that barrier of cost that many people have been concerned about with EHR adoption.

Eric Fishman: And so this would be a true cloud computing solution?

Eric Morgan: That's right. Yeah, it's a pure cloud computing offering. Again, it's on a subscription basis. We don't offer it as a client-server on premise. Many vendors split their development technology between those two worlds and what we have done is we really focused our business model around offering up the service over the web and it has been very successful and we intend to continue that way. There are now integrated products which we are referring to as Medical Practice Optimization. As we look at the integration of practice management and EHR, what we really have focused on is saying “It's now about getting a solution much like many other industries where there is an integrated suite of products that gives you that full medical practice optimization.” So, that's really where our focus is in helping those physicians.

Eric Fishman: Very good. Eric, if you would talk about the beginning stage, the implementation process. As a web-based program, maybe you don't have people going actually to the physical offices of the physicians.

Eric Morgan: That's right.

Eric Fishman: So, tell us about the process of having a physician implement the software.

Eric Morgan: That's right. And it's something we did again early days of when we released our web-based practice management product. We had built our business model, our cost model around servicing those small physicians; and, you know, they really can't afford what the bigger organizations can afford where you are bringing people on site, you are paying for the travel, you are paying by the day or the hour. So, we have to be much more efficient about it. It was interesting when we first started out in the practice management side, there was a lot of sort of skepticism in the market about “Well, can you really do that?” or “physicians are going to need you have on site.” Well, sure enough we are able to do that and we implement something like a hundred clients a month that way. So, with the advent of EHR, we are now doing the same model where we have a lot of online training, tutorials; and in some cases, there may be situations where they would be willing to pay for somebody to go on site, we are willing to do that, we would offer that, but in most cases the physicians and the clients are not one of that. So, it worked out well.

Eric Fishman: In a small practice, I understand. There are small practices on all specialties; do you specialize in any particular area of practice?

Eric Morgan: Yeah. Well, we have a very broad offering and very flexible products. So, we are able to tailor the templates for a variety of specialties. We certainly have very good offerings in the major primary care specialties and many other specialties. There are going to be ones that can do better than others, but we would say that we reach probably 80% of the market with a very solid offering; and in some cases, if need be, we will partner with other providers who might have a very specialized EMR for that specialty.

Eric Fishman: Now, in the near future, 44,000 dollars is the number we hear all the time, the stimulus funding. Tell us how you are approaching that as it relates to your clients and how you are helping them ensure that they will get that money.

Eric Morgan: Yeah. The stimulus money and the meaningful use is certainly the big topic of conversation. I think it has been a very interesting time for us in the industry. I think the realities are that it has been a good catalyst and I think, if we look at our clients and the folks who are moving forward, they are really interested in getting good solution, one that's easy to use, that's implementable and that's going to improve their business and not have negative impacts on workflow and ability to spend time with patients. This stimulus money is important to them as well but it's usually second or third on their list. So, certainly we are in the process of getting our products certified. We are going to be able to provide all the ability for them to use that certified product in the meaningful use to get the money starting in 2011 like as the money starts to flow in the middle of next year. So, we are very focused on that in helping them to get that stimulus money as that becomes a priority and we see more and more. I think a lot of folks are waiting to see those first checks come in.

Eric Fishman: I have said that many times.

Eric Morgan: So, I think in the middle of next year we will see a pretty significant transition assuming all those checks do start flowing which we think they will.

Eric Fishman: A reasonable but untested assumption as of today.

Eric Morgan: Right. That's right.

Eric Fishman: For many, many years Advanced MD was concentrating on the billing arena. Do you do billing or revenue cycle management services for your clients?

Eric Morgan: We actually don't. We have a unique offering that we offer as one of the best solutions for claims processing and billing and collections in the market place and our clients use it to great effect and have very good results. But what we also do is we partnered with over 300 billing service companies across the country. They use our software as part of their service. So, a lot of us have seen some of the bigger names like in Athena Health, they have done this as an integrated offering. What we have found is that the building service industry is such a local business and the relationships are so powerful and important for the local physicians and the billing companies that for us to be part of sort of, I would call it, the “Intel Inside” approach. So, we are the Advance MD inside for those billing companies. So, we bring the technology that bear which isn't their expertise, and they bring that local relationship and billing expertise and it works out very, very well; and that part of our business is growing very rapidly in the last 12 to 18 months. So, we have seen a very strong reception there. We have got a strong partner program around that called the Advanced Biller, and what we actually do is we help them to grow their businesses. So, we help them, we bring business to them and leads and opportunities and they are right there on site so they can often go out and visit with the doctors. So, it's a very good partnership model for us.

Eric Fishman: Great. Eric, anything else that you would like to tell the viewers of EHR TV?

Eric Morgan: Well, we are just excited to be part of this industry right now. I have been in the healthcare business for 15 years and I have never seen anything quite like this. It feels a little bit like Y2K did at the end of 90s, but it's very exciting but it can be a confusing time. We really look forward to the next few years and the opportunity and we believe our SAS cloud-based application is the way to go for particularly the small physicians because it's quickly deployable, it's affordable, it's flexible and it provides all the things that they need and allow us to adopt a lot of clients in a short period of time which is really what we are all looking at in this industry over the next few years. So, we are excited to be here.

Eric Fishman: It's going to be necessary. Eric, Thank you very much.

Eric Morgan: Great. Thank you.

Eric Fishman: This is Eric Fishman for EHR TV. We have been speaking with Eric Morgan, President and CEO of Advanced MD. Thank you.

**End of Audio**

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