With provider interest in population health management technologies soaring, along with the flood of companies jumping in, vendor research firm KLAS Enterprises has a new report on what the early playing field looks like.

The report includes results of interviews with 78 providers using at least one population health management application, with the respondents using products from a total of 23 vendors. KLAS cautions that few of the vendors have enough live client sites to produce a formal rating for their products.

Still, the research firm pegs nine companies as early leaders based on their portfolio of services, experience and ability to deliver: Advisory Board, Conifer Health, Explorys, Healthagen, Optum (Humedica and Care Suite & Impact), i2i Systems, McKesson (Medventive), Phytel, Premier and Wellcentive.

In general, electronic health records vendors lag in offering population health management tools with KLAS tagging three major firms--Cerner, Epic and NextGen--as emerging players. “Today, PHM is largely a realm of third-party vendors, but for many providers, a holy grail would be EMR integration, from back-end database to front-end physician workflow,” according to the report. “Some EMR vendors, like Allscripts, McKesson and athenahealth, are buying their way into the market through acquisition, but integration remains a challenge. Others, like Cerner, eClinicalWorks, Epic and NextGen are building capabilities in-house, but development is relatively slow. Among these four, eClinicalWorks’ solution is most comprehensive.”

The report, “Population Health Management 2013: Scouting the PHM Roster,” is available here and costs $980 for providers and $14,980 for others.

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