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Report: State, Local Health IT Spending to Swell

By M.L. Baker  |  Posted 2006-08-04 Print this article Print

The federal government is leading the way with funding and certification programs, and state and local governments will follow, according to government business specialist Input.

New legislation and certification programs will boost state and local government spending on health and welfare IT from $7.6 billion in fiscal year 2006 to $12.2 billion by fiscal year 2011, concludes a report from Input, a firm that helps companies do business with government.

In particular, the next 12 to 18 months will prove "a watershed period" for health IT as preliminary studies and prototypes mature, James Krouse, acting director of public sector market analysis at Input, said in a statement giving the report's conclusions.

The Input report credited health IT initiatives and a need to integrate programs as being the major factors behind the growth. "Both the amount of action and the type of action we are seeing are indicative of forward momentum for health IT," said Krouse, in Reston, Va.

Microsoft's venture into the field of health care IT is stirring up interest. Click here to read more.

Recently, a certification for electronic medical records has been implemented, regulations have been relaxed to enable hospitals to donate technology to community physicians, and the House of Representatives passed legislation to make permanent a federal office that promotes health IT.

"There's going to be a lot of change coming up," agreed Margo Edmunds, vice president in the health practice policy practice at Quintiles Transnational's Lewin Group, a consultancy that is not affiliated with the report, based in Falls Church, Va. She described the health IT community as "very hopeful."

Krouse noted that CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) had announced grants providing states with $150 million in 2007 and 2008 to increase quality and efficiency of patient care through IT. "This is the first time that we've seen CMS provide grant funding for health IT, and at a level 300 percent greater than what the Department of Health and Human Services will likely issue this year," he said.

Read the full story on eWEEK.com: Report: State, Local Health IT Spending to Swell

Monya Baker is co-editor of CIOInsight.com's Health Care Center. She has written for publications including the journal Nature Biotechnology, the Acumen Journal of Sciences and the American Medical Writers Association, among others, and has worked as a consultant with biotechnology companies. A former high school science teacher, Baker holds a bachelor's degree in biology from Carleton College and a master's of education from Harvard.
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