09-05-13 | Blog Post

Healthcare Regulatory Mandates Increase IT Spend to $34.5 Billion in 2014

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Healthcare IT spending is to hit $34.5 billion in 2014 as a result of technology advances to meet regulatory demands, according to a study conducted by Technology Business Research (TBR). The survey included respondents representing health insurance payers, processors, HMOs (health maintenance organizations), as well as acute and long-term care providers.

The average budget was $12 million for providers and $18 million for payers. TBR reported spending would be allocated for electronic health records (EHRs), electronic medical records (EMRs), claims management, call centers and workloads.

The upcoming September 23rd deadline for all business associates, subcontractors and covered entities to meet the new HIPAA omnibus rule guidelines is fast approaching, and while introduced in late January of this year, has not given many vendors time to meet the requirements.

“Healthcare IT in North America, especially in the U.S., is at a crossroads as mandates, business pressure, new technologies, big data and consumerization buffets payers and provider alike. TBR’s SourceIT Healthcare Report helps IT vendors understand how these forces are shaping $34.5 billion in IT spend, where those dollars are going and who authorizes the budgets,” said TBR Software and Cloud Practice Director Stuart Williams.

Consolidating and automating may be the answer to efficient health IT budgetary decisions. One hosting solution that can support mission-critical patient data and applications while saving on hardware and capital costs is the HIPAA compliant cloud. The Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) recently released a HIPAA cloud computing FAQ addressing the benefits of an outsourced cloud for healthcare organizations:

  • The cloud offers faster computing performance, capacity, flexibility and security at lower costs.
  • Cloud providers allow organizations to focus resources on their core business, not IT.
  • For companies with limited IT staff and budget, outsourcing allows them to take advantage of a cloud provider’s investments in software and hardware upgrades.
  • For companies that require storage and resource-intensive support (i.e. medical imaging documents and applications), the cloud can quickly scale to meet unexpected demands.
  • An encrypted cloud offers protection of data in transit and at rest – depending on the technology used; it can provide security without affecting performance.

Choosing a cloud that encrypts data from the disk-level removes the need to purchase and integrate a software-based cloud encryption solution in addition to your cloud infrastructure. If a cloud service provider is able to provide both with no impact on your cloud’s computing performance, it may be the most efficient option for healthcare organizations seeking both security and enterprise-class data hosting services.

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Healthcare IT Spend Will Top $34.5 Billion in North America in 2014, According to TBR’s SourceIT Healthcare Report

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