69% of healthcare execs say budgets are flat or increasing

Faced with shrinking federal reimbursements and health reform provisions kicking in, most hospitals are maintaining or increasing their spending this year.

In fact, 69 percent of healthcare leaders said their capital budgets for 2011 have remained flat or have increased compared with the year before, according to a Premier healthcare alliance survey.

Where will most of the capital investments go? According to 40 percent of the execs, health IT and telecommunications will be getting most of their increased healthcare spending. With the industry embracing accountable care, healthcare organizations will need health IT tools to coordinate clinical data across the care continuum.

For example, Geisinger Health System and Summa Health System have geared a lot of capital investment toward new health technology tools and are now successfully integrating clinical data between their organizations, notes Premier.

The flat and bigger healthcare budgets reflect the executives' confidence in rising healthcare utilization. Sixty percent of the health leaders expect admissions to increase. Although 50 percent expect an increase of up to 5 percent, 18 percent of respondents think patient volume will grow by more than 5 percent.

For more information:
- read the survey (.pdf)