EMR Market Grew in 2010, Despite Confusion Over Meaningful Use

New York, February 28, 2011--Despite some slower than expected growth in EMR system sales due to confusion over vendor qualifications and federal guidelines, the EMR market grew in 2010 and it should see its best years ahead, according to research from Kalorama Information. The healthcare market research publisher's latest report, EMR 2011: The Market for Electronic Medical Record Systems, values the market for EMR at $15.7 billion in 2010.

According to the report, the growth rate of 10% in 2009 and 13.6% in 2010 was a little slower than anticipated (Kalorama had predicted 15% growth for both years), the result of some hesitation on the part of physicians confused about meaningful use guidelines. But despite the slower rate of growth, considerable growth did occur. Physician adoption has improved and incentive checks have been issued. Survey results show physician usage of EMR near 50%, and Kalorama Information believes adoption and upgrading activities will be brisk in coming years. As new systems are sold, companies will still earn revenues from existing clients in servicing and consulting. Kalorama expects over 18-20% market growth for the next two years.

"We think that while progress was made in physician adoption and in vendor sales, there is still a lot more potential," said Bruce Carlson, publisher of Kalorama Information. "There are still a considerable number of physicians who need to be fully functional and hospitals that have to improve their stage ranking."

The report includes revenues for EMR and CPOE systems, and also directly related services, such as installation, training, and consulting, which are often the key profit areas for companies. Kalorama's forecast assumes that EMR usage will continue to increase, as hospital EMR adoption will encourage physician adoption, current EMR Stage 3 hospitals will purchase more advanced systems and current EMR owners will upgrade. Most importantly, however, Kalorama believes that the threat of penalties in 2015--reduced CMS payments for those that do not engage in meaningful use of electronic record--will force doctors and hospitals to make upgrade decisions.

"The stick is stronger than the carrot when it comes to the ARRA incentive-penalty equation," said Carlson. "We continue to believe that and we think it's the industry's consensus as well. While the policy already picked up those oriented towards technology, the penalties will force conversion and upgrading in the future. And those decisions will happen in the next two years, before the penalties kick in."

More information on key companies in EMR, the pricing of products, physician and hospital adoption statistics and important conclusions about the market can be found in EMR 2011: The Market for Electronic Medical Record Systems. The report provides a breakout between the hospital and physician/web market and is the result of research into company publications and interviews with industry personnel. For more information, please visit: http://www.kaloramainformation.com/redirect.asp?progid=81154&productid=6164654.

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