Health care to spend billions on telecommunications

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The health care industry is expected to spend $55.5 billion on telecommunication services during the next five years – giving that sector a boost even as the economy recovers.

A new market research study by Insight Research shows pending services will grow at a compounded rate of 10.2 percent during the forecast period, increasing from $7.1 billion this year to $11.6 billion during 2014.

Also, the number of health care provider locations is expected to grow 14 percent, and the health-care employment rate is expected to grow 2.5 times faster than the total national employment rate.

External forces are the leading reasons for the dramatic increase in health care information technology, the report said.

A congressional push to reign in health care costs, an aging population and worker shortages are all encouraging the health care industry to find alternative approaches to current business practices.

Telecommunications can decrease health care costs by bridging access gaps, as well as replacing archaic administrative systems, said Robert Rosenburg, Insight Research president.

“Since our last health care industry study, we updated our five-year forecasts to reflect current recessionary spending,” he said. “Our forecast was reduced by approximately $500 million in 2008 and $1 billion in 2009. However, long-term, we expect spending on telecommunications for health care to approach the levels in our previous forecasts, as consumers continue to spend more of their income on health care services.”