New report suggests healthcare IT spending will top $6 billion by 2016

While private healthcare IT spending continues to increase as more private practices and small medical facilities invest in eprescribing, electronic medical records software and other cost-cutting tech initiatives, a new report indicates spending in this sector could be spurred by the federal government. Experts note that the government seems to be following in the footsteps of the HITECH Act, which aimed to provide incentives for smaller medical facilities to adopt EMR.

On December 20, Deltek Inc., a provider of enterprise solutions software, announced the results of a new survey on federal spending called the “Federal Health Information Technology Market, 2011-2016." Researchers at the organization found that by 2016, federal healthcare IT spending will top $6.5 billion and achieve a compound annual growth rate of 7.5 percent.

This money will be used by the government to invest in EMR software and systems, and the IT that's required to support federally-funded research and promotion, according to the release.

"Federal agencies possess the most advanced [EMRs] in the world, however due to their age and legacy architectures and technologies, they are overly ripe for major transformation," Angie Petty, a senior principal analyst at Deltek, said in a statement.

Overall, the report found that the healthcare IT market is expected to grow due to rising medical costs, the proven cost-cutting benefits of EMR software and the aging U.S. population.

Since the federal government is moving in this direction, private healthcare providers who have not adopted EMR software even with the incentives for meeting meaningful use deadlines may want to take a second look at its benefits. By speaking to a consulting firm that can also provide the top software available offered by trusted names like Allscripts, Lytec and Medisoft.