Originally published on MedCityNews.com. Compliance with regulations, an uptick in electronic healthcare data and consolidation of back-office systems will drive payers and providers in North America to spend an estimated $35 billion on health IT next year.
Originally published on MedCityNews.com. Compliance with regulations, an uptick in electronic healthcare data and consolidation of back-office systems will drive payers and providers in North America to spend an estimated $35 billion on health IT next year. More than $26 billion of that is addressable by vendors, say analysts at Technology Business Research.
TBR surveyed 225 IT and business decision-makers at large payer and provider organizations in the U.S. and Canada, and interviewed 25 of them to uncover their spending intentions and priorities. Seventy-seven percent of respondents represented acute and long-term care providers, and 20 percent were health insurance payers, processors and HMOs.
Providers surveyed had an average IT budget of $12 million, although that number was much higher at $23 million for larger organization that anchor a community of smaller players. Those providers will spend big chunks of that money on electronic health records, telemedicine and patient billing and scheduling programs, the firm found.
But they’ll also invest more in business intelligence, analytics and clinical decision support tools that put all of the data they are collecting in EHRs to good use.
“With more adoption (of EHRs) going on, more firms are thinking about the analytical piece, and asking ‘how do I realize ROI on having put all of this together?’” explained Joe Walent, a senior analyst in the firm’s professional services practice.
Survey respondents are said they would also give more priority to investments in telemedicine and mobile tools. “More and more in healthcare we see technology not just brought in for things on the backend, but that are frontline solutions,” Walent noted.
Among payers, the average IT budget was some $18 million, with a priority on claims management, call center and benefit administration technology.
For the vendors on the receiving end of these payments, Stuart Williams, the firm’s software and cloud practice director, emphasized the importance of being able to provide an array of valuable services to these organizations. “Vendors that can walk in and begin to connect the dots, either through their own portfolio or an alliance of partners […] are in the best position,” he said.
This is the first year TBR has done this analysis, so historical comparisons are not available.
[Image source: Flickr user Jerry John]