Hospital executives believe Amazon can deliver on its hype as a healthcare disrupter

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Nearly 60% of provider executives say Amazon is most likely to shake up the industry. (iStock/AdrianHancu)

Out of all the technology giants with ambitions in healthcare, hospital executives have overwhelmingly put their faith in Amazon, according to a new survey.

A full 59% of executives say Amazon will have the biggest impact, according to the survey by Reaction Data. Respondents cited resources available to the retail and technology behemoth, the company’s current influence and name recognition.

Comparatively, 14% said Apple, with its foray into EHRs, would be the most influential, followed by Google at 8% and Microsoft at 7%.

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Among healthcare CEOs—which accounted for 26 of the survey's 97 respondents—75% said Amazon would make the biggest impact.

Source: Reaction Data

“Amazon has a huge market they can use to distribute materials. They are already a household name and the users are not specific to Apple or Android,” one CEO said.

RELATED: This is the 'disruption' large employers are hoping Amazon brings to healthcare

About 80% of survey respondents were from the C-suite, including chief nursing officers, chief financial officers and chief information officers. 

While Amazon alone may be generating significant excitement in boardrooms, a previous survey by HealthEdge shows consumers are largely skeptical about Amazon’s partnership with JPMorgan and Berkshire Hathaway.

Amazon's push into healthcare "has been a shot across the bow for the entire industry," Rita Numerof, Ph.D., president of Numerof & Associates told FierceHealthcare. The company's consistent and deliberate investments indicate they are serious about making substantial changes within the industry.

"Amazon is known for its relentless focus on the consumer and its ability to use data systematically to identify and meet unmet needs in an accessible manner," she said. "Unfortunately, access, consumer engagement, and segmentation haven’t been the hallmark of healthcare delivery."

RELATED: Telehealth providers look to capitalize on a rapidly expanding market

However, 51% of respondents said telemedicine is revenue neutral, and key focus areas were split equally around rural patients, follow-up care and managing specific populations.

Provider M&A activity isn’t likely to taper off

Nearly 40% of provider CEOs indicated they were seriously considering some M&A activity, with 19% saying they were considering being acquired and 14% looking to buy.

A recent study by the Commonwealth Fund found that after years of “merger mania,” 90% of metropolitan statistical areas are either “highly concentrated” or “super concentrated.” Furthermore, provider mergers have outpaced payer mergers in those areas. Researchers warned that dynamic rarely pays off for patients.

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