With its recent acquisition of two companies, Medfusion and OTTO Health, NextGen Healthcare becomes a telehealth business almost overnight!
NextGen looks to improve telemedicine adoption through easy integration. Many telemedicine platforms tend to exist outside the EHR or need workarounds to integrate data. But now with its recent acquisitions, NextGen plans to create a virtual care solution that can easily integrate with its other offerings.
NextGen’s President and CEO Rusty Frantz, said in a recent press release. “By integrating virtual care across the NextGen Healthcare platform, we are now able to offer the ability for patients and providers to experience a new dimension of care without taking the providers out of their natural workflow while meeting the patients at their point of convenience.”*
Medfusion offers a patient platform that provides engagement services, including bill pay and scheduling. Acquired by NextGen in December 2019, Medfusion has previously partnered with other EHRs such as athenahealth. It will be interesting to see how that relationship plays out.
Announced days after the Medfusion deal, NextGen acquires OTTO Health. OTTO provides a telemedicine platform for virtual visits. They boast that their solution can be leveraged within the physician work flow making it easy for physicians to use. Otto had existing partnerships with athenahealth and Greenway Health, so it will be interesting to see how those relationships play out too.
Telemedicine in EHRs
The role of telemedicine in the EHR space continues to be a hot topic. While telemedicine continues to gain traction, it is mostly with patients having video visits with strangers (not their own doctor). The big breakthrough will come when physicians are caring for their own patients through telemedicine with the use of actual medical devices such as a telemedicine stethoscope. Using telemedicine to provide care for chronic care patients is where the healthcare savings lie.
We are optimistic that NextGen Healthcare, through its recent acquisitions, can help spur the growth of telemedicine.