IT spending, staffing levels casualties of the economy for many healthcare executives

Reductions of both capital expenditures and staff are among the major initiatives taken by healthcare executives nationwide in response to the less-than-stellar economy, a new study conducted by healthcare management consulting firm Beacon Partners concludes. Of more than 200 executives surveyed, four in five said that they have cut capital expenditures, while 40 percent have had to lay off workers or eliminate positions, leading to a 38 percent increase in employee turnover. 

Furthermore, half of the executives surveyed said they were forced to cut back on technology investments, something Beacon Partners CEO Ralph Fargnoli called "ironic" considering that in order for many healthcare organizations to qualify for incentives from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, they need to "spend money they don't have." 

"On top of this, healthcare reform legislation changes are expected down the line," Fargnoli said in a press release. "Many healthcare organizations are uncertain as to how to make it all come together in time." 

While half of those who participated said they were connected to private-practice doctors, 51 percent believe that alignment between hospitals and physicians is the most important step toward improving long-term success.

For more information:
- read this Beacon Partners release
- here's the survey