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Study: Hospitals Focused on Spending on Health IT, Joining ACOs

April 16, 2013
by Rajiv Leventhal
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Sixty percent of U.S. hospital executives expect bigger budgets in 2013, with the highest level of spending dedicated to IT, according to a study from global management consulting firm L.E.K. Consulting, which also found that more than 80 percent of surveyed hospitals making future plans to join or already participating in an accountable care organization (ACO).

L.E.K.’s fourth annual study of nearly 200 senior hospital decision-makers tracks changes in hospital strategies and purchasing trends. The most critical initiatives of hospitals’ strategic plans in 2013 continue to be “cost management,” “data connectivity across the spectrum of clinical care,” and “utilization of outcomes data,” the study said.

“Hospitals are investing in mechanisms that help them improve quality metrics and outcomes and gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace, whether it is through more robust technology or unique offerings,” Bob Lavoie, vice president and head of L.E.K. Consulting’s global MedTech practice, said in a statement. “Executives are opening their doors to new models that minimize eroding margins and extract added value, as well as seeking true partners who understand the disruption to their business and offer more holistic solutions.”

The survey tracked disruptions to the traditional healthcare models that have been underway for the past few years. L.E.K.’s survey found that ACOs are taking hold with more than 80 percent of surveyed hospitals making future plans to join or already participating in an ACO. In addition, hospitals are expanding capabilities and adopting new models, with 12 percent of hospital executives reporting their organization will likely adopt payer capabilities over the next five years.

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