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Report: Payers, Providers Far Apart on Analytics Adoption

October 7, 2013
by Gabriel Perna
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Healthcare providers are investing less into analytics and big data technology than payers, a new report from the Framingham, Mass.-based research company, IDC Health revealed.

The report, "Business Strategy: Health Plans and Providers Still Far Apart on Adoption of Big Data and Analytics,” included the findings of a survey of 3,500 IT decision makers, which revealed the disparity between the two. Eighty percent of payers surveyed said that they were allocating between 1-to-24 percent of their budget to analytics investments, while only 49 percent of providers are doing the same.

The difference is similar when it comes to big data analytics – 77 percent of health plans vs. 47 percent of payers. Over 40 percent of providers are not budgeting anything for Big Data and analytics, while only 14 percent of health plans are not investing in those areas. Similarly, the number of providers who don’t have a plan for big data or analytics outnumbers the number of payers who lack strategy.

The main reason? IDC Health says it’s because providers are tied up in EHR investments, coming from meaningful use. "Healthcare providers are not likely to catch up in their investments or in the maturity of Big Data and Analytics until at least 2015, when they can turn their attention away from meaningful use," Cynthia Burghard, research director, accountable care IT strategies, said in a statement.

In terms of the benefits for investing in big data and analytics, both providers and payers provided the same answers. 1)Gain insight into generating new revenue 2)Gain customer insight to enhance product or revenue 3) Gain operational insight to increase efficiencies.  Neither group rated big data and analytics on their top IT initiatives, even though many of their initiatives required the use of analytics.

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