Obamacare Could Spark Technology Boom

Tuesday, 18 Dec 2012 07:47 AM

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Love it or hate it, President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law may spark a technology boom, experts say.

Technology providers such as IBM may see new business as states set up health insurance exchanges and other related platforms due to roll out in 2014.

“[W]e acquired a company, Curam, that has tremendous strength in this area [health information technology],” said Cameron Brooks, the director of government healthcare at IBM, according to CNBC.

Editor's Note: Tiny Loophole Found in 70,320 Page IRS Tax Code Could Pay $87,500

“So, for IBM, we’ve been able to go from participation on the infrastructure side, to really leading participation in terms of the systems that help determine eligibility for these exchanges.”

According to CNBC, 17 states and the District of Columbia have begun setting up exchanges, or online markets for people to shop and buy insurance policies, which spells new business for technology providers.

The Obama administration, meanwhile, has set aside $2 billion to develop the exchanges, though more investments will likely follow when it comes to expanding infrastructure, experts say.

“Health insurance is a complicated purchase and it involves interfacing through a number of systems and procuring capability from a number of vendors,” said Scott Donahue, a director and health technology analyst at Triple Tree, CNBC added.

“We’re probably 30 percent of where we need to be, so it’s going to take a lot more than what’s already been awarded to get to have states fully stood up.”

Some states, however, have said they won’t set up online exchanges.

“State authority to run a health insurance exchange is illusory,” said Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett, according to The New York Times.

“In reality, Pennsylvania would end up shouldering all of the costs by 2015, but have no authority to govern the program.”

Editor's Note: Tiny Loophole Found in 70,320 Page IRS Tax Code Could Pay $87,500

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