Health IT Strategist is providing its readers with a preview of the 19th annual Modern Healthcare/Modern Physician Survey of Executive Opinions on Key Information Technology Issues, which will officially be released April 6. Please visit ModernHealthcare.com for more survey results and accompanying charts.
The dam has broken.
By Congressional Budget Office estimates, the federal government is poised to pour as much as $38.3 billion into healthcare information technology support through 2015 under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The following trends, based on data from the 19th annual Modern Healthcare/Modern Physician Survey of Executive Opinions on Key Information Technology Issues, reflect the impact the legislation might have on the industry.
Former President George W. Bush raised the profile of health IT to a national priority in 2004 when he created the federal Office of the National Coordinator and tasked the office and the healthcare industry with providing an electronic health record to most Americans by 2014. Bush, however, staked out the ideological position that the nations IT goals should be achieved largely through free-market activity and specifically ordered the ONC to not assume or rely upon additional federal resources or spending to accomplish adoption of interoperable health information technology.
According to survey results, an overwhelming majority of respondents aligned more with recent congressional intent and favored the government changing the game plan by providing direct financial support for a federal IT development program.
Asked if they thought the government should subsidize the cost of providing electronic health record systems to physicians, 80.6% of respondents said yes. Asked if the government should subsidize IT systems for hospitals and other healthcare organizations in rural and medically underserved areas, 89.7% of respondents said yes. And even when it came to subsidizing IT programs at community hospitals and other healthcare organizations, 74.2% said yes.
The survey period began on Jan. 5 and closed Feb. 27, spanning the time frame of final debate on the economic stimulus bill, which passed its last vote in Congress on Feb. 13 and was signed by President Barack Obama on Feb. 17. We received 156 completed responses during the survey period, up from 145 respondents last year.