Study: Providers turning to consultants when joining HIEs

Providers increasingly need outside help in order to join a health information exchange (HIE), but there's currently no clear front-runner consulting firm in this emerging market, according to a new report from KLAS research.

The report, which analyzed 13 third-party consulting firms offering HIE services, found four different types of consulting firms: systems integration, advisory, staff augmentation and technical. There was not much differentiation among the firms, although Impact Advisors and CSC stood out as two early leaders--Impact as the only fully rated vendor providing HIE advisory and technical work, and CSC as the only option for HIE hosting and managed services. Some of the other firms reviewed included Deloitte, Xerox, PwC and Accenture.

"HIE consulting firms are being chosen based primarily on providers' prior relationships with the firms, the firms' reputation for having high healthcare and regulatory expertise, or the HIE vendors' recommendations," report author Erik Westerlind said in a statement.

Other findings included:

  • Two-thirds of providers said that the firm chosen met or exceeded their expectations
  • More providers were engaging third-party consultants when joining public HIEs than when joining private ones
  • Some consulting firms have begun to align with HIE vendors to gain an advantage

The HIE consulting market isn't the only market in a state of flux. HIE technology itself is evolving, as the focus of HIEs shift from data exchange and Meaningful Use to "actionable information" and the need to support evolving care delivery and reimbursement models, such as accountable care organizations, according to two new reports from IDC Insights.

To learn more:
- here's the KLAS announcement