Even as the last of the federal funds earmarked for public health information exchanges (HIEs) run dry this year, rapid growth and evolution will continue to define the nascent HIE market, according to a report released this week by Chilmark Research. The report, 2012 HIE Market Report: Analysis and Trends, uncovers a market that is making a significant shift to serving healthcare organizations (HCOs) of all sizes -- what the report defines as the enterprise market.
Two dominant drivers are leading to strong adoption of HIE technology among HCOs. First is the need to meet proposed Meaningful Use Stage 2 requirements, which places emphasis on information exchange. Second and even more importantly, are significant changes taking place in reimbursement models that will lead HCOs to adopt HIE technology to better support care coordination across the communities they serve.
"As federal incentives drive the adoption of electronic health record (EHR) technology in the U.S., we will quickly move into the post-EHR era where the value of patient data is not what is locked in an EHR data silo, but the cumulative patient data that resides in the community HIE network," states John Moore, founder and managing partner of Chilmark Research.
More vendors than ever are trying to make a mark in the HIE market. Since publishing its first HIE report in January 2011, a third of vendors Chilmark profiled in the report have been acquired, merged, or exited the market altogether. Despite this exodus, this year's report has even more vendors profiled, all looking to capitalize on the strong double-digit growth this sub-sector of the healthcare IT market has experienced in recent years and will likely continue.
"Last year, we commented on an increasingly crowded and competitive market," says Moore. "Today's market is more competitive than ever, but just as immature as it was last year."
Most HIEs today, whether public or enterprise, exchange relatively simple data sets such as lab results and patient summaries, falling far short of the vision of an integrated record that can facilitate care as patients move between care providers and settings. Until EHR vendors incorporate a shared set of standards, HIEs will remain in a state of stunted development. "Across the board, legacy systems fail to support true interoperability, and vendors are doing little to remedy this situation," says Moore.
Reporting and analytics capabilities have moved to the top of most HIE vendors' development priority lists. This is in direct response to market needs for more accurate reporting in preparation for Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' plans to roll out outcomes-based reimbursement. Every HIE vendor in the Chilmark Research report currently offers some form of analytics and reporting capabilities, although the majority of current offerings remain limited. This is not a major issue as there remains a lack of computable data originating from EHRs and flowing through the HIE network. As standards come into greater use, the need for robust analytical tools will accelerate.
The Chilmark Research 2012 HIE Market Report provides a broad market survey and profiles 22 HIE vendors. To learn more or purchase the report, visit http://chilmarkresearch.com/available-reports/
About Chilmark Research
Chilmark Research is the only industry analyst firm focusing solely on the healthcare IT market. Leveraging proven research methodologies and focus with intelligence and insight, we provide our clients with the most cogent analysis of healthcare IT market adoption trends. For more information, go to: http://chilmarkresearch.com/ or call 617-615-9344.