We’ve written previously about the challenges to the healthcare IT and EHR consulting industry and also about areas of opportunity for healthcare IT consulting. I’m really interested to watch how this is going to evolve over the next couple of years.
The decline in EHR and healthcare IT consulting has been interesting since we can all be sure that IT is going to have a major future in healthcare. Of course, much of the EHR consulting industry was propped up by a false market thanks to $30 billion of EHR stimulus money. Now that the money is gone, we’re heading back to a more rationale (are we ever completely rationale?) industry. I’ll be interested to see what the rationale EHR and healthcare IT industry looks like.
One other trend I’ve seen happening is healthcare IT consulting companies being acquired. One of the first I saw was when Quintiles acquired Encore Health Resources. More recently CIPE was acquired by Cumberland Consulting Group. Right at HIMSS we got the news that KPMG had acquired Beacon Partners.
If you’re an EHR or healthcare IT consultant, these acquisitions usually aren’t too awful. Your work will be similar and it may even bring new opportunities to you. Over time, the culture shift might happen, but in the short term not much will change. Some of the EHR consulting company support staff might get left behind in the acquisition though.
I think we’ll still see a few more mergers and acquisitions in the healthcare IT and EHR consulting space. Although, then we’ll see the shift back again as some of the consultants leave the acquired company and start out on their own. Isn’t that the natural cycle of consulting companies?