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Hospitals Ramp Up Capital Spending on IT

Rene Letourneau, for HealthLeaders Media, May 6, 2013

When I read in the Premier healthcare alliance's recent spring 2013 Economic Outlook that 43% of survey respondents indicated that their organization will make its biggest capital investment in healthcare information technology and telecommunications in 2013, up 21% from two years ago, I wasn't surprised.

In the HealthLeaders Media 2013 Industry Survey, 36% of the executive respondents said they expect major increases in IT spending over the next 3 years, and another 44% expect a minor increase. And at our most recent CFO Exchange, "clinical and information technology upgrades" was one of the top 3 spending priorities for the assembled CFOs.

Earlier this year, I spoke with CFOs at several large health systems around the country about their capital spending plans, and this was the theme I heard over and over.

More money is being invested in IT infrastructure and less in brick and mortar assets than ever before, I was told repeatedly. Provider organizations are sinking millions—sometimes hundreds of millions—of dollars into electronic medical records and other system upgrades, mainly in preparation for the move toward accountable care and population health management.

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