CVS/Caremark has given Allscripts a deal that sounds too good to be true.
It's killing its e-prescribing offering, iScribe, and moving to Allscript's ePrescribe system, while encouraging its customers to get the full Allscripts Electronic Health Record (EHR), making them eligible for big bucks from the HITECH Stimulus.
Allscripts, a SaaS vendor, is also a partner in Google Health, so if your doctor uses Allscripts and you use a CVS pharmacy populating your personal health record (PHR) is going to get easier.
The deal is a reminder that consolidation in this space won't just be corporate, but technological. As the EHR market scales up smaller offerings are going to be pushed out.
CVS is known as a chain of drug stores, most of them free-standing, with Caremark its mail order and benefit management unit, but the company also owns Minute Clinic, a chain of clinics staffed by nurses and physicians' assistants delivering basic care inside the pharmacies. The unit has long prided itself on EHR automation based on a Continuity of Care Record given patients as they leave.
For now, all CVS Caremark will say is that the deal lets it concentrate on its point of care work. Before launching iScribe CVS was a founder of the Surescripts network linking pharmacies to doctors. Allscripts described the deal as a "partnership."
If this isn't an engagement, CVS and Allscripts are at least going steady. Will there be corporate wedding bells ringing soon?