Allscripts Protests After Losing Bid for Health IT Project in NYC Hospitals

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Electronic health record vendor Allscripts has filed a complaint against the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation for awarding a multimillion dollar contract to a rival EHR vendor, the New York Times reports (Hartocollis, New York Times, 10/9).

Allscripts declined to release its complaint, saying it was not public (Evans, Modern Healthcare, 10/10).

About the Contract Bids

Last month, Allscripts lost a bid to replace HHC's fragmented EHR system with a new, integrated EHR system that would link 11 public hospitals, 70 clinics, thousands of physicians and more than one million patients. Allscripts' proposal would have cost $299 million, according to HHC documents.

Instead, HHC awarded a $303 million contract to Epic Systems. The HHC documents characterized the price difference as minimal, according to the Times.

Details of Allscripts' Complaint

Allscripts filed its complaint with an HHC procurement-review board (New York Times, 10/9).

Glen Tullman -- CEO of Allscripts -- said his company is rejecting claims that the two proposals are comparable on costs (Modern Healthcare, 10/10). According to Allscripts, the company's proposal would have cost HHC $700 million less than Epic's contract over 15 years.

Tullman said that Allscripts' proposal would be less expensive partly because the company uses standard Microsoft software, adding that Epic's language is "more expensive to maintain" (New York Times, 10/9).

Response From HHC, Epic

Ian Michaels -- a spokesperson for HHC -- said that Allscripts' projected $700 million in savings over 15 years failed to account for certain anticipated expenses, such as the cost for HHC staff to help design, build and maintain the EHR system (Modern Healthcare, 10/10).

On Tuesday, Epic issued a statement saying it was "happy to be chosen after an open and rigorous selection process spanning several years and many detailed reviews." Epic declined to comment on Allscripts' complaint.

The contract for HHC's new EHR system will not take effect until the complaint is formally resolved (New York Times, 10/9).

Brian Fullmer
Epic does seem to be winning contracts - many without even need to respond to RFP's. This is very concerning that we are creating an EHR oligopoly. One that is based on proprietary software that is mostly unused in other industries. Moving away from industry standards will only keep healthcare IT in the dark ages. This contract should be scrutinized heavily.

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