ScreenHunter_03 Jan. 30 13.35

GE Terminating Centricity Advance EHR

GE purchased MedPlexus in 2010 in order to provide a cloud-based EHR targeted at small practices. Now, less than two years later, GE has announced that it will no longer support Centricity Advance after June 30, 2012. Multiple postings on the web describe this change. Here’s the story from InformationWeek Healthcare. This decision was made, according to the report, in order for GE to focus on a single EMR/PM platform — presumably Centricity Practice Solution. GE is offering to help migrate data to Centricity Practice Solutions or a competing product. HISTalk seems to have gotten some additional details (including a picture of the announcement from GE’s Mike Friguletto, VP and General Manager of Clinical Business Solutions). According to HISTalk, GE Healthcare announced that:

• Customers can retrieve their data in read-only form until December 31, 2012.
• Customers will be offered an upgrade to the Centricity Practice Solution PM/EMR, with data migration, training, and implementation costs covered by GE.

While some practices might find this offer attractive, one physician sent an email to the American College of Physicians with a distinctly different viewpoint:

“In the ultimate bait and switch move they offered to transition us to the much more expensive and very different Centricity Product Solutions.”

When originally launched, InformationWeek Healthcare posted an article that described the rationale for introducing a:

“…hosted system that can be implemented quickly so that doctors can prepare for the meaningful use of health IT financial incentives.”

This product was targeted at small ambulatory care offices by highlighting the convenience of having a cloud-based product without the need for expensive hardware upgrades and software maintenance. The Software as a Service (SaaS) concept is often appealing to small primary care offices because they operate on narrow margins and can handle the monthly SaaS fees easier than an investment in licensed solutions. Incentives for Meaningful Use and e-prescribing can help — but they don’t cover all of the incurred expenses and cost of lost productivity during EHR implementation.

Is it reasonable to expect small offices to invest time/effort and money to purchase/implement EHRs only to have them do it all over again within 1-2 years as products are bought/sold/consolidated/discontinued? How should practices guard against this possibility? Is there anything they can do to protect themselves against this possibility? Typical guidance includes the need to review not only EHR products but also the company and its commitment to each product. In this case, who would have thought that GE would abandon its web-based EHR in less than two years?

This post is the personal opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the American College of Physicians (ACP). ACP does not endorse a specific EHR brand or product and ACP makes no representations, warranties, or assurances as to the accuracy or completeness of the information provided herein.


5 responses to "GE Terminating Centricity Advance EHR"
  • February 1, 2012
    Alan Brookstone, MD

    There was a great deal of experience in Alberta about 2 years ago with data transfer from system to system to 3 certified provincial ASP solutions. Many problems surfaced including inconsistent formats in which data were stored, clinic created data fields that were unanticipated and the mapping exercise to move the data from one system to another. There were significant issues with meta-data which was not transferable because it had been stored in proprietary formats in the initial systems.

    In addition, what followed were data quality issues and multiple cycles of transfers that had to be checked both by the vendor and the practice after the transfer was complete to ensure data accuracy. Each physician that went through this migration was compensated $20,000 to cover the personal and staff costs and inconvenience. This was a harrowing process.

    Perhaps the alternate solution is for the company to offer compensation in order for practices to pay staff to move the data…. again.

  • February 7, 2012
    Arvind Cavale

    Answers to your questions:
    1) No
    2) Try small more reliable vendors, preferably through word of mouth
    3) No
    4) Almost anybody that knows the world of EHR and large EHR vendors. Actually a no-brainer.

    This is what happens when psuedo-freemarket clashes with cut-throat capitalism. In this mad dash towards HIT, it would have been better for all of us to consider this before taking the plunge. Wonder what Dr. Mostashari has to say about this?

  • February 9, 2012
    Barry Waters

    As a GE Centricity Advance user I am in serious trouble. No structured EHR data (diagnoses, medications, etc.) is being converted nor is line item billing. The offer is for a web hosted version of Practice Solution and not the traditional product. According to the reseller, some modules are not included and will cost extra. It has been impossible to get a written contract/proposal for Practice Solutions and there is no firm install date.

    GE should admit to making a horrific mistake that will have devastating impact on nearly 200 practices.

    (Since initial submission of above comment and while awaiting editorial review, GE has gotten back to me with the encouraging news they might be able to convert structured EHR data. While I’m not sure it’s enough to make me want to stay with GE, I do appreciate their increased concern.)

  • April 17, 2012
    Jayen Patel

    I worried about advance 2 years ago and am glad I did not get it. I bought centricity and have now recieved my 2011 stimulus. It has been great. Do not let the vendor push you around with strictured data…they must migrate for you. You will be happy with the final product but you will heave a better system. Engage GE directly and also pay an attorney to keep things straight.

  • October 30, 2013
    Ted Yadlowsky

    It should be known that is a cloud based GE Centricity company. They are a GE Centricity VAR.

    Hope this helps

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