AT&T takes over AMA's Amagine physician portal

Nearly a year after the American Medical Association announced the nationwide availability of its Amagine physician portal, AT&T has taken over Amagine and integrated it with its Healthcare Community Online (HCO). While the announcement positions the AMA as AT&T's partner in the portal, it also said AT&T "will own and operate the combined platform."

Targeted at small and medium-sized practices, Amagine offers 20 different products, ranging from e-prescribing software and cloud-based EHRs to physician practice consulting. As of last April, the EHR vendors involved in Amagine included NextGen, UnitedHealth subsidiary Ingenix (now Optum), and MedPlus, part of Quest Diagnostics. These products were available for $300 a month. Several standalone e-prescribing solutions were also featured.

AMA has been unable to get much traction with Amagine up to now. Steven J. Stack, chair elect of the AMA board of trustees, said the portal had 6,000 registered users and Randall Porter, assistant vice president, AT&T ForHealth, said that includes 3,700 physicians. Both spoke to FierceHealthIT at the annual meeting of the Health Information and Management Systems Society meeting in Las Vegas this week.

Both Amagine and AT&T Healthcare Community Online (HCO) use a technical infrastructure designed by Covisint, making it easier to combine the AMA portal and AT&T's health information exchange product.

Stack said the scope and reach of AT&T, plus its mobile technology, should benefit Amagine and make it a better offering that will be adopted by more physicians. "AT&T brings a whole array of technical resources to bear," he told FierceHealthIT.

HCO, which has been around for several years, was initially focused on statewide HIEs and big integrated delivery systems, noted Porter. He said that Amagine would complement the capabilities of HCO by providing resources to small practices.

"We see healthcare as a community, and it has be integrated from small practices to large organizations, payers and patients," he said in the interview.

HCO itself had fairly little uptake until recently, when it struck a deal with the Indiana Health Information Exchange (IHIE), one of the largest and oldest public HIEs in the country. IHIE, which includes 19,000 physicians and 80 hospitals, will use HCO's secure messaging system. A&T will also help IHIE scale up quickly across Indiana and will collaborate with IHIE on a national consulting service.

To learn more:
- read the joint AMA and AT&T announcement

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