EHR Spending To Hit $3.8 Billion In 2015 - InformationWeek

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Healthcare // Electronic Health Records
12:14 PM

EHR Spending To Hit $3.8 Billion In 2015

Double-digit growth in the electronic health record software market will be driven largely by government incentive deadlines, finds study.

17 Leading EHR Vendors
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An IDC Health Insights study predicts there will be explosive, double-digit growth in spending on ambulatory and inpatient electronic medical record (EMR) and electronic health record (EHR) software between 2009 and 2015.

The report, U.S. Electronic Health and Medical Records 2009-2015 -- Meaningful Use Spending Forecast and Analysis, was published in December, and looks at the critical years during which the federal government's incentive programs for the adoption of meaningful use of EMR/EHRs will be implemented. Among the report's key findings are:

-- Total EMR/EHR software spending by all types of providers was approximately $2 billion in 2009 and is expected to grow to approximately $3.8 billion in 2015. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for total EMR/EHR software spending between 2009 and 2015 is expected to be 11.5%.

-- Ambulatory EMR/EHR software spending by all types of providers was $633.5 million in 2009 and is expected to grow to $1.4 billion in 2015. The CAGR for ambulatory EMR spending between 2009 and 2015 is expected to be 14.2%.

-- Inpatient EMR/EHR software spending by all types of providers was approximately $1.3 billion in 2009 and is expected to grow to $2.4 billion in 2015. The CAGR for inpatient EMR/EHR spending between 2009 and 2015 is expected to be 10%.

According to IDC, investments in EMR/EHRs coincide with rollout of the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs. Further, the adoption of meaningful use technologies is driven by the availability of government subsidies, as well as the declining value of subsidies for organizations that do not implement these systems during the initial cycles. "Organizations that implement and demonstrate meaningful use later will receive lower incentive payments than those that implement early," the report said.

The report notes that there are several additional considerations that have prompted physicians and other healthcare decision makers to increase their investments in EMR/EHRs. These include improvements to patient safety, enhanced productivity for clinicians, better access to clinical data, gains in privacy and security, reductions in paper handling, and decreased costs such as reducing redundant or ineffective tests and procedures.

The report went on to say that the promise of incentive payments under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, and the announcement of the final rule for the stage 1 meaningful use criteria, have accelerated critical investments in healthcare IT. These include:

-- Increased investment in meaningful use technologies, including health information exchanges (HIEs), electronic prescribing and computerized physician order entry (CPOE), and analytics, including business, clinical, and operational intelligence.

-- Increased demand for professional services and clinical transformation services.

-- Greater need for client, server, and storage virtualization to reduce IT infrastructure costs.

-- Migration to service-based delivery of applications and storage to enable rapid deployment of healthcare IT and transition from a capital (capex) to an operational expenditure (opex), thus reducing the total cost of ownership.

-- An emerging replacement market for legacy EMR/EHR applications that are not interoperable, have a rigid architecture, and cannot adapt quickly enough to support new functionality requirements for accountable care organizations (ACOs), patient-centered medical homes, and other evolving reimbursement and care delivery models.

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