Study: Health IT spending to top $34.5B

Well-positioned vendors could secure lion's share

Healthcare IT spending at large North American healthcare organizations is expected to increase to more than $34.5 billion next year, spurred by current regulatory trends. The trend is expected to open up new markets for many vendors.
 
Technology Business Research Inc.’s (TBR) new SourceIT Healthcare Report says the spending will be spurred by current regulatory trends and the money will be parsed out across industry applications, business applications, productivity applications, business intelligence and analytics, database and technology, and systems management. Some vendors could be poised to take the lion’s share of these budgets, TBR officials say.
 
“The wide variety of regulatory mandates and changes coming into force in the near term in the U.S. magnifies the pressure on healthcare providers, commercial payers and public sector agencies to maximize the value and ROI of their IT spend to meet these requirements,” said TBR healthcare analyst Joseph Walent, in a news release. 
 
“Health IT vendors able to recognize the IT spending habits of the market segments, and adjust accordingly, will be best positioned to secure market share," Walent says. "The analysis we’re conducting in our SourceIT Healthcare Report will provide our clients with information to make better business decisions in this shifting market.”
 
[See also: Clinical data analytics next big thing.]
 
Researchers for TBR’s SourceIT Healthcare Report say they surveyed 225 IT decision makers across the c-Suite and line-of-business managers at payers and providers, and conducted 25 qualitative, in-depth interviews to uncover spending intentions, priorities and perceptions. 
 
The in-depth interviews underscored the importance decision makers place on industry expertise and pinpointed which capabilities will receive funding and how technology providers will be shortlisted, researchers said.  
 
One survey respondent said, “Regulatory compliance funds take the priority, absolutely, for the healthcare industry. For example, ICD-10 is not a project; it’s a program with an estimated end-to-end budget of $2.5 million. A large part of that is based on consultants’ contributions, because we’re not relying on people who are unfamiliar with this.”
 
The survey also explored how the average budget — approximately $12 million at providers and approximately $18 million at payers — will be allocated across workloads, such as electronic health records (EHRs) and electronic medical records (EMRs), claims management and call centers. Furthermore, the research clarifies how budgets are earmarked for priority-zero projects and efficiency projects. 
 
More than 30 vendors are covered in the SourceIT Healthcare Report, including Accenture, Cerner, Citrix, HP, GE Healthcare, Lawson, IBM, McKesson, Microsoft, Oracle and Salesforce.com, according to TBR.