Costco to launch medical informatics and practice management solution

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Following positive feedback from test market research, wholesale retailer Costco has launched a medical informatics and practice management software solution, reports Healthcare IT News.

Developed in partnership with clinical informatics vendor Allscripts and New York-based Etransmedia, the solution will feature Allscripts’ MyWay medical informatics technology and practice management software, which complies with the Office of the National Coordinator’s (ONC) Authorized Testing and Certification Body regulations.

Costco intends to market the solution to smaller physician practices that may not have the healthcare IT budget to invest in a full clinical informatics system. The solution will be available to Costco members for a subscription fee of $499 per month.

“Our goal was to select an electronic health record and practice management solution for our members based on Costco’s traditional approach to pricing – large volume purchases of inventory and then pass the savings on to our members,” John Conlon, Costco’s director of the clinical informatics and practice management service, told the news source.

As the system is fully compliant with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act regulatory guidelines, physician practices opting to use Costco’s solution may be eligible to apply for up to $44,000 in federal financial incentives.

Costco may not seem like an obvious player in the medical informatics industry, but the wholesaler’s decision to enter the marketplace highlights the prevalence of clinical informatics networks in today’s healthcare system.

According to data from the ONC, 41 percent of office-based physician practices intend to attest to stage one of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ meaningful use federal financial incentives by the end of this year. The adoption of clinical informatics systems has grown steadily over the past two years, and the migration from paper-based health records to medical informatics networks has been an important part of wider healthcare reform initiatives.