athenahealth CEO Offers to Pick Up the Tab for Epic


Peter DeVault, Epic's (a leader in EHR software) director of interoperability, spoke before the Senate Help Committee on Tuesday about interoperability and Epic's role in moving it forward. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) challenged DeVault by inquiring why Epic is not part of CommonWell. CommonWell is a vendor- led interoperability effort, whose members include Cerner, McKesson, AthenaHealth, and Greenway.

DeVault claims that Epic is not a member of CommonWell because it would be an expensive investment to join, and it requires the signing of a non-disclosure agreement. Because Epic earns about $1.8 billion in revenue, the company would need to pay $1.25 million for an annual subscription fee and an additional $50,000 to $90,000 in annual membership dues, once it joined.

CommonWell released a statement in response claiming, "We are committed to openness and transparency. Accordingly we publish our services and use case specification, along with our nominal membership and service fees on our website for everyone to see."

DeVault also pointed out CommonWell's low participant numbers in its interoperability project, in comparison to Epic's Care Everywhere network. CommonWell has only been in existence for the past 2 years and has 1,000 physicians in its network; meanwhile, Epic's Care Everywhere network has about 100,000 physicians.

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