Caradigm, Orion Health Consolidate HIE Efforts

Caradigm, a joint venture of GE Healthcare and Microsoft, will resell Orion's health information exchange platform and Orion will develop apps for the Caradigm Intelligence Platform.

The market for health information exchanges is consolidating, as Caradigm announces plans to sell an HIE platform from Orion Health and discontinue development of its own.

Caradigm is a 50/50 joint venture of GE Healthcare and Microsoft.

As part of the March 27 announcement, Orion Health said it will develop apps on the Caradigm Intelligence Platform (CIP) that will leverage HIE data, provide decision support for doctors and boost population health management. The apps will be available later this year, B.G. Jones, vice president for partner alliances at Orion Health, told eWEEK in an email.

The deal is an expansion of an existing partnership between Caradigm and Orion.

Orion's HIE platform allows doctors to use a Web-based system to access a unified view of patient data. With this view of patient records, HIEs can eliminate duplicate procedures, according to Orion.

Orion HIE enables physician communication through email as well as SMS and pager alerts. It includes Rhapsody Integration Engine, Clinical Portal and Clinical Data Repository.

Caradigm will resell Orion's HIE separately and with CIP. The company will rely on Orion for HIE expertise and focus development on CIP, previously known as Amalga, along with its identity- and access-management applications. Caradigm is looking for vendors to build applications for CIP, which it relaunched on March 4. In addition to population health management, real-time data in CIP allows health care organizations to increase care quality and optimize costs, Caradigm reported.

The deal shows that the HIE market is consolidating, according to Lynne Dunbrack, program director for Connected Health IT Strategies at IDC Health Insights.

GE and Microsoft both offered separate HIE platforms before they formed their joint venture, Caradigm, Dunbrack noted in an email to eWEEK. Orion's platform is used by several states to provide interoperable health record access.

IDC placed Orion in the leader category for its MarketScape 2012 vendor assessment of HIE platforms.

The agreement combines Orion's strength in ambulatory systems (or software for provider practices) with Caradigm's expertise in population health management, quality improvement and cost optimization software, Mark Johnston, vice president of platform solutions at Caradigm, told eWEEK in an email.

Under the deal, CIP will aid interoperability by aggregating data from the Orion Health HIE and allowing providers to use the information in future population health applications, Johnston wrote.

"By combining Orion Health HIE with the Caradigm Intelligence Platform and applications, health care providers will be able to get much more use out of the data that has traditionally been locked in separate, disconnected systems," said Johnston. "They will be able to gain insight from that data and then identify steps and actions they can take to improve care."

This consolidation comes as doctors are grouping together to form accountable care organizations (ACOs) and gain incentives based on outcomes rather than per patient visit. ACOs are an integral part of the Accountable Care Act, or Obamacare.

Caradigm and Orion will form an end-to-end software platform that combines Orion's HIE software with near real-time aggregation of clinical, financial and administrative data in CIP, Johnston said.

"The real value in HIE is not just moving data from point A to point B, but what the health care organization can do with that data," Dunbrack said. "This is especially true for health care organizations pursuing accountable care strategies and need analytics, care management and population health management."

Collaboration by Caradigm and Orion is evidence of platform-as-a-service (PaaS) growth in the HIE market, Dunbrack said. "Platform as a service will increasingly play an important role in delivering capabilities in 2013 and beyond," she wrote.