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Spending on Healthcare Information Technology Inches Up
Date:2/25/2008

Hospitals, physicians are waiting for federal subsidies to offset costs of

adopting IT

CHICAGO, Feb. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Spending on information technology by the nation's hospitals and physicians is expected to rise only slightly this year as many healthcare providers appear to be holding out for federal financial assistance before buying the latest IT systems for their facilities. That's according to Modern Healthcare's 18th Annual Survey of Executive Opinions on Key Information Technology Issues.

"The survey results support what we hear anecdotally from healthcare providers," said Modern Healthcare Editor David Burda. "But if they're waiting for the federal government to act, they may be waiting a long time given the government's other federal budget priorities."

Some 145 senior-level healthcare executives from hospitals, healthcare systems, physician practices and other provider organizations responded to the survey, which was conducted from Nov. 19, 2007, through Jan. 21, 2008.

About 18% of the executives said their healthcare organizations will spend 2.6% to 3% of their total operating budget on information technology this year, which was the median range of spending in this year's survey. By comparison, last year's median spending range was slightly lower -- 2.1% to 2.5% -- which was cited by about 16% of last year's respondents.

Healthcare providers' interest in electronic health record systems is on the rise, the survey found. About 58% of this year's respondents cited the adoption of an EHR system as one of their top three IT priorities this year compared with about 54% last year.

But most of the executives surveyed felt that the federal government needs to provide money to healthcare organizations in order to meet President Bush's goal of having most Americans have access to an EHR by 2014. About 86% of the surveyed executives said the government should subsidize the cost of EH
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SOURCE Modern Healthcare
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