Greenway Medical, an EHR vendor, will use Physicians Interactive's 'eCoupon' solution

Partnership brings pharma messaging into another EHR vendor

Physicians Interactive (PI; Marlborough, MA), provider of a group of communication platforms for coupons, alternative sampling and other industry services, has hooked up with Greenway Medical Technologies (Carrollton, GA) to provide PI’s branded eCoupon solution, a cloud-based system to integrate coupons and vouchers into the e-prescribing function within Greenway’s PrimeSuite EHR. Such a linkage isn’t a first—PI is already working with Allscripts and McKesson, among others—but represents the growth of a new communications channel to prescribers, the electronic health record systems (EHRs) that physician practices now have federal incentives to deploy. Roughly a quarter of all practices have some type of EHR currently, and over half have an e-prescribing resource available to them.

Coincidentally, Greenway announced at about the same time that it had met the “ONC 2014 Edition criteria” and has been certified for Stage 1 and 2 incentives by the CCHIT (Certification Commission for Health Information Technology). These incentives are among the methods by which HHS is encouraging the adoption of EHRs by healthcare providers; the “stages” refer to the ability to provide documentation of various screenings and assessments of patients within the EHR.

“The interest in e-prescribing and EHR communications changed overnight after the federal incentives went into place in 2009,” comments Devin Paullin, EVP of business development at PI. The company offers a software “toolkit” for integrating its prescription services into EHR systems, and is promoting its own cloud-based capabilities in realizing this. In effect, PI can bring multiple manufacturers’ incentive programs together in its eCoupon solution, and then link that into multiple EHR systems. When a physician does a drug lookup, or prepares to complete an electronic prescription, the coupon and copay information can appear and be passed on to the patient (by, for example, printing out the coupon). Manufacturers collaborate with PI to create the business rules under which the patient assistance is made available.

“We take the burden out of multiple manufacturers attempting to work with multiple EHR vendors” [of which there are hundreds], says Paullin. PI’s network of online and mobile solutions reaches over 900,000 healthcare providers, the company says; Greenway doesn’t openly provide user data beyond saying that “thousands” of ambulatory care physicians, in 30 specialty areas, are Greenway clients.