GE to Shutter Centricity Advance EHR Software for Small Practices

GE has announced it will fold its cloud Centricity Advance product for small practices into its flagship Centricity Practice Solution.

GE Healthcare has announced it will discontinue its Centricity Advance electronic health record (EHR) application for small practices as of June 30.

Centricity is GE's EHR platform used by both physician practices and hospitals. It incorporates medical, pharmaceutical, financial and administrative data.

GE will allow physician practices to upgrade to Centricity Practice Solution, the company's flagship EHR and practice-management software.

After June 30, doctors will be unable to post data in Centricity Advance but can access information in read-only format until Dec. 31. With the end of Centricity Advance near, GE has removed the Website for Advance and redirected it to a page for Centricity Practice.

GE decided to shut down Centricity Advance because Centricity Practice also addresses the needs of small and midsize practices, Michael Friguletto, general manager and vice president for clinical business solutions at GE Healthcare, wrote in an email to eWEEK.

The company formerly considered Centricity Practice as software primarily for midsize and large practices.

Consolidating its Centricity software into a joint EHR/practice-management product will allow GE to update its health care offerings faster, said Friguletto.

"By focusing our development resources, GE Healthcare will be able to invest more heavily in developing features, which customers request," he said.

Centricity Practice offers a more robust clinical workflow with additional content in primary care, cardiology and orthopedics, said Friguletto. GE plans to add clinical content in Centricity Practice focused on cardiology and orthopedics, he noted.

"[Centricity Practice] contains a comprehensive PM solution, including revenue cycle management dashboards and tools that are fully integrated with the EMR, so practices will have more control," said Friguletto.

Although Centricity Practice is a licensed product, resellers will offer a remotely hosted version, and GE will help customers migrate to the combined EHR and practice-management platform. VARs will be able to provide the same remote installation and service small practices received with Centricity Advance, said Friguletto. Doctors can also use an onsite version of Centricity Practice.

GElaunched Centricity Advance on June 15, 2010, to allow small practices with few IT personnel to access EHRs quickly through the cloud. It was designed to provide quick implementation with little maintenance and a lower monthly fee.

In March 2010, the company acquired MedPlexus, a maker of Web-based health IT software for physician practices. Software from MedPlexus led to the development of GE's Centricity Advance.

On July 12, 2011, GEintroduced Centricity Practice 10, which features metrics that allow doctors to keep track of their progress on reporting patients' conditions and qualifying for the federal government's incentives on meaningful use of EHRs.

Centricity Practice also supports use of the ICD-10 diagnosis code, which the Department of Health and Human Services requires that all medical claims include beginning Oct. 1, 2013.

In addition, the software conforms to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) X12 5010 standard for electronic claims, which went into effect Jan. 1, 2012.

For large practices, the company also offers Centricity EMR, which incorporates revenue cycle management or practice-management systems. Meanwhile, Centricity Enterprise is a platform for community hospitals, academic medical centers and integrated delivery networks.

GE launchedCentricity Research in March 2011 to boost the efficiency of clinical studies, improve research billing compliance and enable doctors to form better treatment plans.

The company recently announced ajoint venture with Microsoft in health care, but Centricity will remain with GE. The decision to fold Centricity Advance into Centricity Practice was unrelated to joint-venture plans, said Friguletto.