Forgive me if I invoke the image of the California Gold Rush of 1849. But seriously, dear readers, has there ever been a better time for healthcare IT vendors? As the Healthcare Informatics 100 compendium, just out today, shows, healthcare IT vendors are profiting tremendously from all of the policy, industry, and technology developments taking place in healthcare right now.
The HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) Act, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, mandated that virtually all hospitals and physicians in private practice in the United States begin to implement electronic health records (EHRs); and then the Affordable Care Act (ACA) embedded in its overall healthcare reform architecture mandates for value-based purchasing, healthcare-acquired conditions reduction, and avoidable readmission reduction, which further added to the policy demands on providers. What’s more, the ACA provided for voluntary participation in its accountable care organization (ACO) and bundled payments programs, and encouraged the development of patient-centered medical homes and other delivery innovations. Meanwhile, private health plans have been accelerating their encouragement of new payment and delivery models as well. And all along, the technologies for improving the patient safety, care quality, efficiency, cost-effectiveness, connectivity, accountability, and transparency of U.S. healthcare have been advancing rapidly as well.
So is it any surprise that the 100 largest vendors in healthcare IT would be benefiting from the massive investments in healthcare IT right now? Obviously, it shouldn’t be. What’s more, vendors are working harder than ever to improve their offerings in terms of core functionality, design for workflow, integration and interoperability, health information exchange, and so on.
So it’s not surprising at all, in fact, that vendors are doing quite well these days, thank you. Think of it this way: five years ago, the 2009 Healthcare Informatics list revealed that the vendor with the highest HIT revenues had $2.98 billion in 2008 revenues, while the 100th and last on the list had $5.1million in 2008 revenues.
This year, the top company reported $3.4 billion in revenues, while the 100th largest company reported $35 million in revenues. In 2009, reporting $35 million in revenues would have put a vendor company up at number 65th on the list. In other words, the entry point for the list continues to rise every year in terms of the revenues required to make it onto the list of 100.
It will be fascinating to continue to track vendor development in the coming years. I can say two things for certain: first, we, the editors of Healthcare Informatics are going to continue to provide you, our readers, with the most up-to-date information in this area via our unique compendium of industry data. And second, this is going to continue to be a fascinating compendium to provide to you in the coming years, as healthcare leaps ahead along numerous dimensions.