Ingram Micro Brings EHR Solutions To Channel Partners

Distributor to supply resellers with NextGen EHR and practice management solutions.

February 10, 2010

D.H. Kass

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Distributor Ingram Micro Inc. said it has landed an agreement with NextGen Healthcare Information Systems Inc. to supply its channel partners with hosted and on-premise electronic health record (EHR) and practice management solutions aimed at hospitals and other medical practices.

An Ingram official said that the deal is important because NextGen’s portfolio of products and services will anchor the distributor’s IMHealth portfolio, boost its healthcare-related sales by more than 30 percent, bump margin opportunities for channel partners, and entice more qualified resellers into the fold.

About 6,000 of Ingram’s channel partners currently sell into the healthcare market, 200 to 300 of which sell EHR solutions, according to Bob Laclede, Ingram vice president, business development.

Laclede said that NextGen emerged among some 400 candidates in the distributor’s year-long search for a suitable EHR provider equipped with channel-ready products that “understood the channel model.”

“VARs were telling us that they were already driving infrastructure solutions in medical settings but they wanted to be able to provide full service,” he said.

NextGen, a sizeable company with 1,200 employees and 2,500 clients, is based in Horsham, PA and maintains four additional U.S. offices. It operates as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Quality Systems Inc., a publicly-traded $280 million healthcare IT provider.

The agreement encompasses NextGen’s full lineup of EHR and practice management systems, connectivity solutions and revenue cycle management services, specifically the NextGen EPM (Enterprise Practice Management), NextGen EHR, NextGen Community Health Solution (CHS), and other NextGen and Quality Systems solutions.

NextGen licenses its products and services, which the company said span about 25 physician specialties, based on a per physician pricing framework.

Ingram will work with NextGen to recruit, train and support channel partners selling the vendor’s solutions. Eligibility includes completing a 10-day training and certification program, offered free of charge to channel partners, Laclede said.

Laclede said that while Ingram’s IMHealth program--which includes 40 vendors providing networking equipment, servers, data capture devices and testing instruments--already generates “hundreds of millions” in annual revenue, it lacked an EHR provider that would enable channel partners participating in the initiative to present themselves as full service health care IT providers.

Of particular importance to Ingram is the expanse of NextGen’s solutions, an existing, albeit small, channel program, field support units and a sales team willing to work with channel partners, Laclede said.

Vendor’s channel friendly approach sparks deal

Laclede said that NextGen’s recognition of the importance of the channel played a major role in securing the deal.

NextGen offers two channel models, one framed for its 25 full service providers, and another for resellers operating as agents, aligned with one of the vendor’s direct sales representatives, and compensated at 5 - 10 percent of a sale’s value for consulting services and referrals.

The company maintains a U.S.-based field support team numbering about 60 people who will be incented to work closely with Ingram’s channel partners to sell and support EHR solutions, Laclede said.

In addition, Ingram’s channel partners also will have access to an existing NextGen deal registration program designed to protect sales in progress, he said.

Scott Decker, NextGen president said that the agreement will help the vendor meet an expected spike in EHR demand, driven, in part, by the federal government’s stimulus package.

“Given the current market environment created by [the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act], NextGen Healthcare anticipates considerable demand for certified EHR systems that can help providers demonstrate meaningful use and qualify for stimulus incentive payments,” Decker said.

Under ARRA, physicians that implement EHR technology are eligible for $44,000 in reimbursement funding starting in 2011.

Ingram will ease the reimbursement process—physicians are obliged to pay first and then apply for repayment--with favorable end-user financing options such as a low-rate leasing program, Laclede said.

NextGen said that it expects Ingram’s extensive roster of healthcare-capable channel partners will help to catalyze the vendor’s growth.

“Working with Ingram Micro will enable us to leverage its extensive distribution network and technology capabilities to extend our market reach and meet [EHR] demand,” Decker said.

One channel partner praised the deal’s potential to advance EHR sales.

“We see tremendous opportunity, demand and growth for tailored IT solutions within the healthcare market, especially among those practices and facilities looking to benefit from deploying EHR solutions,” said Guy Baroan, president of Baroan Technologies, an Elmwood Park, NJ-based IT services provider .

TAGS: healthcare,channel partners,Ingram Micro,EHR,NextGen

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