Electronic Health Records

Adoption & Implementation News

EHR Replacement Market May See 7% Annual Growth Rate

By Vera Gruessner

- As computer systems continue to evolve and stronger certified EHR technology is developed, the EHR replacement market will see significant growth over the coming years. Once more healthcare providers begin to implement strategies for Stage 3 Meaningful Use attestation, their respective medical facilities will begin to upgrade their EHR systems in order to improve the quality of patient care as well as population health outcomes.

Certified EHR Technology

A Kalorama report called EMR 2015: The Market for Electronic Medical Records shows that there will continue to be an annual growth rate of 7 or 8 percent over the next five years for the EHR replacement market. This positions EHR vendors and developers in a strong spot for sector growth.

Whether it is EHR system upgrades or training and consulting, vendors will still see a steady increase in the EHR replacement market, according to a Kalorama Information press release.

"There might be a thought now that everyone has their EMR now so the market won't grow, but I'd argue against that," Bruce Carlson, Publisher of Kalorama Information, stated in the press release.  "There are upgrades, vendor switches, and still untapped physician markets for web-based products.  That being said, it's like any other software market now that the direct incentives are over and as such, vendors need to sell on value."    

As the requirements of the meaningful use stages continue to roll out over the coming years, more physicians and facilities are attempting to avoid the financial penalties under the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs. As such, more providers are switching over from paper records to certified EHR technology and others are upgrading their systems to reflect meaningful use attestation. All of this is stimulating the EHR replacement market to steadily rise.

Medical facilities that don’t implement certified EHR technology by 2015 will face a 1 percent reduction in their Medicare-based claims, which will rise to 2 percent in 2016 and 3 percent for years beyond. This cut in payment from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) could damage the financial future of certain hospitals and clinics.

Due to these potential meaningful use penalties, more providers are focused on upgrading and adopting certified EHR technology, which will continue to boost the EHR replacement market.

Vendor replacement contracts are also likely to affect the healthcare industry over the coming years, which will include new implementation of EHR systems, training and consulting fees.

Within the EHR replacement market, the reasoning behind many providers’ choice to upgrade their systems may be due to the need for an integrated EHR and practice management solution, according to HealthITAnalytics.com.

“Revenue Cycle management and integrated EHR vendor loyalty among small practice EHR physician practices is still on a significant upward trajectory,” Doug Brown, Black Book's Managing Partner, said in a public statement. “The EHR/practice billing vendor's abilities to meet the evolving demands of interoperability, networking, mobile devices, accountable care, patient accessibility, customization for specialty workflow, and reimbursement are the main factors that the replacement mentality and late adoption remain volatile especially among solo and small practices.”

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