Healthcare News & Insights

Feds to spend $6.5 billion on health IT

Here’s more evidence that the federal government is putting a lot of faith in the value of healthcare information technology. 

In addition to offering incentives for hospitals and practices to increase their use of electronic medical records and other tech tools, federal agencies are also planning to spend $6.5 billion in 2016 on their own health IT needs, according to Deltek, a government IT contractor.

That’s up from the $4.5 billion spent in 2011. The figure doesn’t include incentive payments paid for the use of electronic records or grants to states for health information exchanges.

It does include money to improve the health IT systems of several federal agencies, as well as an upgrade to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ payment system.

Why the rapid increase in health IT spending? According to Deltek, the main drivers include:

  1. Rising healthcare costs and the proven reductions in those costs that health technology can provide
  2. Advancements in EHR systems that have advantages over the older systems the government currently uses, and
  3. New data security challenges that require system upgrades to protect information.

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