The total U.S. patient portal market for hospitals and physicians earned revenue of $279.8 million in 2012, and is expected to increase steadily, reaching $898.4 million in 2017—representing a 221.1 percent increase—according to new research from consulting firm Frost & Sullivan.
According to the analysis, "U.S. Patient Portal Market for Hospitals and Physicians: Overview and Outlook, 2012–2017," the majority of revenue will primarily result from increased demand driven by myriad forces, including the need to meet Stage 2 meaningful use requirements, the growing move to clinical integration and accountable care, and increasing consumer demand for health information technology.
What’s more, approximately 50 percent of U.S. hospitals and 40 percent of U.S. physicians in ambulatory practice possess some type of patient portal technology, mostly acquired as a module of their practice management or electronic health record (EHR) system. While the availability of patient portals does not necessarily translate into active provider or patient use, the technology is emerging as the key platform for various efforts around patient engagement such as access to medical records, communication with providers, education, wellness tracking and e-visits, the research says.
Patient portal adoption and active use is accelerating dramatically across the U.S., driven by Stage 2 requirements. Stage 2 requires providers to adopt and use technology that allows patients to electronically view, download, and transmit electronic copies of their own medical records. Patient portals are the key technology that will help providers meet these requirements. In addition, providers that adopt patient portals will enjoy a competitive advantage as patients increasingly demand convenient, 24/7 access to their financial and clinical data.
"The need to fully engage patients as a member of the care team is fundamentally about encouraging individuals to become more involved with their healthcare, so they will be motivated to make behavioral changes that can positively impact their health status,” Frost & Sullivan connected health principal Analyst Nancy Fabozzi, said in a statement. "That need will only grow as the healthcare system moves towards accountable care and value-based reimbursement. The importance of this movement cannot be underestimated."