HIE sparking health IT spending

By Erin McCann
03:52 PM

Healthcare IT spending hasn’t shown signs that it will slow down anytime soon. In fact, a Black Book HIE survey released today projects that industry spending will triple by 2014.

Despite these projections, the majority of U.S. hospitals (80 percent) and physicians (97 percent) remain disconnected from HIE technology. The survey’s numbers suggest, however, that the tides are indeed changing. Although only one in 15 provider organizations indicated they are developing strategies to advance them towards HIEs, industry tech executives sang a different tune, with 84 percent saying they are actively taking measures to move towards HIE adoption. 

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“The current driving forces of HIE adoption are clearly apparent: accountable care implementations, meaningful use implementations, the need for care coordination, outcomes-based reimbursement challenges, available funding and opportunities for regional stakeholder participation,” says Black Book’s senior partner, Doug Brown. 

The survey, included in Black Book’s 2012 State of the Health Information Exchange Industry report, consists of 4,000 healthcare delivery and insurance organizations and provides an aggregated insight into the conditions and priorities of the enterprise HIE marketplace. It also includes validated client experience and satisfaction ratings on private HIE developers with functionally comparative products. 

The report also includes ranking of the top enterprise HIE firms based on the responses of HIE early adopters and users, in addition to currently implementing customers. Vendors were evaluated on 18 key performance indicators including stakeholder alignment, accountable care support, sustainability, interoperability, analytics, accessibility, configuration, interfaces and implementations, clinical workflow, data integrity and security. 

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The report notes the following other key findings:

  • 28 percent of respondents are cautiously increasing HIE spending before the end of 2012, but eight of 10 providers expect organizational HIE budgets to significantly increase by 2014.
  • 85 percent of hospital executives assert that their expedited HIE adoption implementations are mainly inspired by pressures to prepare for ACOs and changing reimbursement models.
  • 83 percent of hospitals and 17 percent of all providers either already have or plan to participate in an HIE solution currently. 
  • 95 percent of all providers expect to be included in at least one HIE interface by July 2013.
  • 98 percent of those providers with HIE strategies in place will focus entirely on community or regional exchanges for the foreseeable future, rather than national health record exchange initiatives.
  • 41 percent of healthcare technology executives say interoperability is one of their top three priorities for 2012, while 92 percent of CIOs expect it will be a top three 2013-2014 focus area for their organizations.

More than half of all hospitals and payers agree that the HIE return on investment will be discovered in the collaboration on accountable care organizations and patient centered medical homes.

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