Federal healthcare IT spending to surpass $6 billion by 2016

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According to a new study published by enterprise software solutions firm Deltek, federal healthcare IT spending is expected to exceed $6.5 billion by 2016, reports Healthcare IT News.

The forecasts represent an annual compound increase in federal healthcare IT spending of 7.7 percent, far outpacing the 1.1 percent increase expected in non-federal investment. Infrastructure development, implementation of medical informatics systems, research and promotion of healthcare IT and development of payment systems are among the projects typically financed by federal funding.

The authors of the report note that the federal government’s access to advanced clinical informatics technology could be used to establish standards in the wider healthcare IT industry.

“Federal agencies possess the most advanced [medical informatics systems] in the world; however due to their age and legacy architectures and technologies, they are overly ripe for major transformation,” Angie Petty, senior principal analyst at Deltek, told the news source. “The Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs are on the cusp of creating a joint records system that will serve soldiers from their induction into the military through the rest of their lives.”

The growing population of aging individuals in the U.S. is among the primary reasons cited by the report for the substantial increases in federal healthcare IT spending. Data suggests that the population of people 65 years of age and older is expected to increase by 123 percent by 2050. Deltek estimates that this increase will necessitate increases in financial expenditure from $766 billion in 2011 to $1.4 trillion in 2020.

Earlier this year, Computerworld reported that federal spending on healthcare IT projects was expected to exceed $40 billion by the end of 2011 alone. Increased adoption of medical informatics systems accounts for much of the federal government’s healthcare IT budget, according to data from analytics firm RNCOS.