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11/10/2010
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Health IT Facing Consolidation

A handful of technology and telecom giants will dominate the healthcare market, predicts Marlin & Associates.

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A report from financial advisory firm Marlin & Associates predicts that the U.S. healthcare IT market is in the early phases of a massive consolidation that will ultimately translate into a handful of mega firms that form healthcare IT "superstores," or healthcare information networks.

Released Wednesday, the report, titled "Back to the Future: Healthcare Rebooted," notes that the confluence of technologies is at a pivotal point to enable radical changes at relatively reasonable costs. In addition to continuing advancement in the field of medicine, major breakthroughs in telecommunication, data management, infrastructure, and analytics technologies have laid the foundation for more innovative solutions for the industry.

"The responses reveal that that the social and economic imperatives for a better healthcare system have never been so pronounced," said Afsaneh Naimollah, co-author of the report and a partner at Marlin & Associates, in a statement. "Solving the cost of healthcare from the fringes has never worked. Now, with the healthcare IT mandates in the federal healthcare reform bill, coupled with a stream of superior technologies, we are finally in a position for technology to have a measurable impact on the costs and the quality of care delivery."

In the near future, the report says, a few companies will emerge to lead the healthcare information industry, much as Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters lead the financial information technology arena.

Those companies that will dominate the industry will have successfully integrated the key components of a healthcare information network -- and thereby will be in a position to set industry standards, said the report. From that position, the report predicts, these companies will be positioned to provide comprehensive integrated information, analytics, communication, administrative, clinical, and revenue cycle management tasks, all via a seamless network, accessed through the web or dedicated terminals.

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