Elation Health launches unified EHR and billing solution for primary care providers

Elation Health has long been known as an electronic health record provider, but the company has set its sights on being an "all-in-one" technology solution for primary care practices.

The company is now expanding its reach to offer a unified EHR and billing software system for independent primary care practices and other providers designed to support value-based care.

More than 100 customers who have been using the unified solution have reported that the technology reduces the time spent on administrative work and improves patient payment collections. The company announced this week the general availability of the technology solution.

Many EHR solutions were built around fee-for-service care encounters, and that can create challenges for primary care providers as they struggle to thrive in value-based care models.

"It's the first fully integrated solution, targeted and purpose-built for success in primary care," Elation co-founder and CEO Kyna Fong, Ph.D., said in an interview. "Given the broader backdrop of all the pressures on primary care, especially in the context of fee-for-service models and the move to value-based models, there's a lot of overhead in that transition and a lot of it centers around how you get paid and connecting how you get paid to the clinical care. I think we are uniquely suited to create that unified solution to effectively support that transition and relieve the burden on primary practices today and drive financial success."

The solution was designed to provide seamless timesaving clinical and billing workflows, comprehensive functionality designed for primary care needs and a simple, modern interface compared to competitors. 

The new unified solution builds on Elation Health's acquisition of medical billing company Lightning MD earlier this year. With that deal, Lightning’s billing interface added to Elation’s suite of more than 20 practice management and billing solutions. 

At the time of the acquisition, Fong told Fierce Healthcare that the EHR provider’s all-in-one beta solution including Lightning’s billing tools would be accessible for existing small practice customers this summer and openly accessible later this year.

"I think where we are breaking new ground is driving our clinical-first philosophy through to this unified all-in-one solution. Most of the billing systems out there really are billing-first in nature and they spread that to the EHRs," she said. "I think one of the areas where we're really breaking new ground and innovating is how do you build a very successful, effective unified solution through to billing that still holds true to the clinical-first philosophy of putting patient care first and enabling physicians to focus on patients. That is something very unique that we are driving with our unified solution."

The complexity of billing and getting paid as the industry transitions to value-based care is becoming increasingly complex as providers have to manage many different ways and forms of getting paid, she noted.

Elation's Health solution automates coding upfront in providers' clinical workflows to ensure physicians are getting credit and getting paid for the care they're delivering, she said.

Earlier this year, as the company was piloting the unified solution, the Elation Health team was keen to ensure the solution reduced primary care physicians’ time spent on administrative tasks and created more time for patient focus, executives noted.

Stacy Bowker, founder and practitioner of Snohomish Valley Holistic Medicine, said the integrated solution enables her to spend less time focused on administrative work. "It’s easy to use, easy to figure out, and has the features I need. Most importantly, it saves me time so I can see more patients everyday," she said. 

Elation now serves 24,000 clinicians caring for more than 12 million Americans. The company's EHR is used across traditional and progressive care settings including independent practices, on-site employer clinics, at-home models and hybrid teams.

Fong founded the San Francisco-based company with her brother after the siblings helped their father, a primary care physician, bring his practice to the U.S. from Canada. The company designed its solution to meet the needs of independent primary care providers with intuitive charting, seamless integrations and developer capabilities.

Elation Health claims its platform helps enterprise clients achieve success in value-based care models, driving results such as 30% healthcare cost savings and four times reduction in referrals to high-cost specialists. 

As many health tech vendors look to integrate generative AI and large language models into solutions, Elation Health also is eyeing opportunities in that space.

"We are very optimistic about the impacts and prospects of generative AI in improving productivity and relieving burden. The way we think about it is first principles. It's not for any specific workflow; it's valuable across a whole spectrum. You'll be hearing more from us on that front," she said.

Recent partnerships include Galileo’s primary care practices across all 50 states, which use a “heavily data-driven” approach to provide longitudinal virtual primary care now aided by Elation. The company also teamed up with Zus Health to enhance its data interoperability solution by integrating Zus’ wealth of data directly into its EHR. It also collaborates with Zocdoc to streamline online appointment scheduling.

At the end of last year, Elation teamed up with Ribbon Health to integrate Ribbon’s API data insights into its EHR system. The company also paired up with Dock Health last summer to automate downstream clinical trial tasks and address provider burnout.

The company has raised $108 million from investors to date, most recently banking $50 million in series D round in July 2022.

Elation Health's growth comes as large companies like UnitedHealth's Optum and retailers CVS, Walgreens and Walmart, and even Amazon with its $3.6 billion One Medical deal, are all making hefty investments to extend their reach into primary care.

"It's exciting to see the growth, proliferation and investment in primary care-lead groups and primary care-lead models, which are effectively business models that say, 'We going to succeed by delivering great effective high-value primary care.' That, in turn, means better experiences for patients, more reduction of acute illnesses and better management of chronic conditions. That is extremely powerful and good for everyone," Fong said. "That's a stark contrast to more hospital-led models where the incentives are not quite as aligned to manage the health of the population."

She added, "I just see overall across the industry increased valuing of primary care and increased investment in primary care. Every person should have a primary care physician, and there's a ton of opportunity still to change the paradigms in U.S. healthcare. And I think we're seeing that wave start."