Most people in the HIT business know about Healthquest, McKesson’s aging mainframe product line, which has roots back to Medipac (COBOL/VSAM) in the halcyon ’70s.  And many know about their aging Star and Series products, both born in the minicomputer revolution of the ’80s, and growing a little long in the tooth today. But how many people know that McKesson now has a fully modern replacement for all three of these aging products?

 McKesson first announced Horizon Enterprise Revenue Management (HERM) at HFMA’s Annual National Institute, but without too many details. It sounded as new and unproven as Millennium was in the ’90s, or Paragon was early in the 2000s. However, the boys in Atlanta have made might quite a bit of progress with HERM over the past few years:

* 27 contracts signed and in various stages of implementation, although 24 of them were McKesson clients, 3 are net new business

* Complete revenue cycle functionality, just no ERP modules

* Very robust EMPI, being implemented at several multi-hospital pilots

* Client/Server (like Paragon), only based on Oracle (instead of SQL)

* Most sites are running in-house, but there is a remote option

* Includes many of the usual “bolt-ons” other systems require, such as medical necessity, scheduling and claims management.

McKesson starting building HERM around 2002-2003, and has quite an advantage designing it, since they have nearly 1,000 hospitals using Medipac, Star or Series, so user group “wish lists” served as R&D input. Target bed size is roughly 200 beds and up, which synchs nicely with Paragon, which is strongest below 200 beds down to critical access (25 beds).

Like Siemens’ Soarian, HERM boasts “workflow engine” technology, though not based on the StaffWorks product Soarian employs. McKesson claims the workflow functionality in HERM enables a “Virtual Business Office” as whatever steps patient reps should be following depending on the nature of the account they are working (financial class, age, secondary insurance, etc.) can be programmed right into the screen flow.

Prospects for HERM are bright: just as Siemens has an excellent opportunity to sell Soarian to its captive audience of about 1,000 Invision and MedSeries 4 clients, so McKesson has about 973 Healthquest, Series and Star prospects.


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