I.T. Tab for Reform: $5 Billion+

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Federal, state and local governments will need to invest more than $5 billion in health information technologies to comply with provisions of the health care reform law, according to a new report.

The report is from INPUT, a Reston, Va.-based consulting firm serving public sector firms and companies seeking business with governmental units. Co-authors Angie Petty, senior analyst; and Deniece Peterson, manager of industry analysis at INPUT, identify I.T. opportunities in four categories:

* Clinical I.T. such as electronic health records and clinical decision support;

* Medical technologies such as diagnostic equipment and imaging hardware and software;

* Business I.T. such as billing systems, case management and document management; and

* Reform management applications such as Web portals and I.T. infrastructures for new organizations.

Report authors give three estimates of I.T. needs that by themselves will cost considerably more than $5 billion. For instance, states will invest $2 billion in start-up costs to implement health insurance exchanges. The Department of Health and Human Services will invest $1.8 billion to implement changes to Medicare, Medicaid and related information systems. And the Internal Revenue Service will spend up to $2.5 billion to support eligibility determination, documentation and verification processes for premium and cost-sharing subsidies.

The report covers major provisions of the reform law, their impacts on government entities at all levels, and the supporting I.T. applications. The report, "IT Implications of Health Care Reform," is available for $2,000 at http://healthcareITreport.input.com.

--Joseph Goedert


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