Latest SCOTUS ruling should accelerate eHealth spending

Larry Dignan | ZD Net | June 28, 2012

Summary: The Supreme Court just gave one sixth of the U.S. economy a lot of clarity. More health IT spending could follow, according to this recent article by Larry Dignan published in ZD Net.

The Supreme Court upheld the requirement in President Obama’s Affordable Care Act that individuals buy health insurance and may have accelerated the industry’s massive investment in information technology.

To be sure, the Supreme Court’s ruling wasn’t going to derail the move to electronic health records and medical software implementations. What may have changed, however, is the pacing of these deployments.

According to the Wall Street Journal, 30 million new people will hit the insurance rolls somewhere. In addition, state exchanges will need to be built. All of those exchanges will require systems, hardware and software.

There has already been a surge in e-health spending courtesy of the American Relief and Recovery Act of 2009 (ARRA), which allocated $30 billion to health IT investment. That stimulus was aimed at everything from electronic health records to telemedicine to security tools. The Supreme Court may have just green lighted another wave of health IT spending.