Early Adopters of Healthcare IT are the winners

Caduceus Medical Symbol chromeOver the last six months I have had numerous discussions about the likelihood of the US government to continue funding healthcare IT initiatives in light of the current economic situation. Following yesterday’s legislation in the house, it seems clear that my prediction is this area is set to come true. (That’s #4 in the last 6 months … not that I’m bragging about it.)

Below are the highlight categories of spending.

  • $18 billion through the Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement systems for hospitals and physicians who are “meaningful users” of HIT.
  • $2 billion focused on a variety of “Integration Initiatives”
  • $1 billion to be made available for renovation and repair of health centers and for the acquisition of health IT systems.
  • $550 million for health IT within Indian Health Service facilities.
  • $400 million for comparative effectiveness research on how use of electronic data impacts healthcare treatments and strategies.
  • $300 million to support regional and sub-national efforts towards health information exchange.
  • $40 million to be used by the Social Security Administration to use EMRs to submit disability claims.

Most important, in my opinion, is where the lion’s share of the dollars are going: To EXISTING MEANINGFUL USERS OF HEALTHCARE IT. That’s right, in an effort to further strengthen the value proposition and impact of healthcare IT, the government is choosing to put more money into the 17% that are already on bandwagon. This has clear indications for which vendors and types of systems are likely to benefit from the upcomign spending.

More on this as the story unfolds …


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