$3 Billion Ambulatory EHR Market

This recent Frost and Sullivan study (requires registration to access) has been making the healthcare IT and EMR blog rounds lately. The parts of the study that are most interesting to consider is their estimated EHR market size.

A study by Frost & Sullivan predicts that revenue for the U.S. ambulatory electronic health record (EHR) market will double from $1.3 billion in 2009 to an estimated $2.6 billion in 2012. Further, by 2013, the market will reach its peak, posting revenue of $3 billion. However, by 2016 market saturation will have occurred and revenue is expected to fall to $1.4 billion.

That’s right. They estimate in 2013 the ambulatory EHR market will be $3 billion. Now compare that number with the $36 billion of EHR stimulus money that’s available (or whichever ARRA EMR stimulus projection you prefer). Are hospitals really going to take that much of the EHR stimulus money? Something just doesn’t feel right about these numbers.

Other salient points from the study I wrote about in my posts about Complex Reimbursement as the Real Driver in EHR Adoption and the reshuffling of providers favoring Large EHR vendors.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of HealthcareScene.com, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference, EXPO.health, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.


  • John, based on the numbers given in the Frost & Sullivan report, it looks like the medical industry will be spending some $15-16 billion on EMR purchases and implementation over the course of the next 6-7 years. I did a quick online search to see if I could find any designation of how the Healthcare stimulus money is to be directed and I couldn’t find any. But it’s hard to imagine that almost half of the stimulus funding would have been set aside for just the purchase and implementation of EMR. As a 6 physician practice administrator, I can asure you that the costs of purchasing the software, maintenance agreements, special interfaces and additional equipment required to meet the measures of meaningful use will certainly eat into the “incentive” which we hope to receive for our compliance.

  • John, I was just reviewing some updating data from Allscripts and saw this breakout for the Stimulus money:

    “Legislative Update
    › $2 billion
    • Standards Development
    • Grants
    • HIE Infrastructure
    • Health IT Regional Extension Centers
    • Workforce Development
    • Beacon Community Grants (best practices in HIE)
    • SHARP program (research)
    • Telemedicine
    • Efficacy Studies
    › $19.1 – $29.8 billion in incentive payments to
    physicians and hospitals, net of savings

    So that explains where $21B – $31B will go.

Click here to post a comment