System Breaches and Data Security Alarms Impede 2015 Outsourcing Growth in Payer Information Technology Sector, Black Book Surveys Health Plans on Vendor Satisfaction

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With nearly $7B in information technology outsourcing contracts approaching renewal, incumbent ITO vendors are tasked with enhancing the protection of client health plans and their members from data breaches while meeting expectations for modernizing payer financial and administrative systems. An intensely competitive landscape of primarily offshore vendors aims to capture a piece of a potential $60B payer ITO market by 2017, according to Black Book’s 2015 survey of health plan IT leaders and suppliers.

The regulatory overhaul of reform mandates such as Affordable Care and ICD10 are rapidly changing US health plans’ operating models and creating needs for modernized legacy systems and applications. Black Book surveyed 720 health plan ITO users from Q4 2014 to Q1 2015 to determine trends in the shifting marketplace of service providers and client expectations.

“The opportunity for information technology vendors in the health plan marketplace are accelerating, but so are instances of shorter deal lengths, incumbent vendor replacements , mergers and acquisitions and rising concerns for member data security, “ said Doug Brown, Managing Partner of Black Book.

The payer ITO market place adoption rate failed to change markedly from survey year to survey year. Among all payers, public and private, small and large plans, 62% outsourced two or more information technology functions in 2013. In 2014, 63% of all payer organizations outsourced two or more information technology functions.

Specifically, 2014 ITO users include applications development and maintenance outsourcing (82% of all payers outsourced this single function in 2014), infrastructure including remote infrastructure management and cloud infrastructure outsourcing (69% outsource), business intelligence, data warehousing and analytics outsourcing (28% outsource), quality assurance and testing outsourcing (15% outsource), and professional IT management services outsourcing (14% outsource).

Black Book also found that 80% of pending Q4 2014 and Q1 2015 ITO contracts are being delayed as prospective clients confirm vendor provisions to safeguard member and plan data before executing deals. 77% of current payer ITO clients have launched initiatives to confirm their vendors’ data security capabilities.

“Recent data breaches in the health plan sector have IT outsourcing clients assessing confidence in their vendors’ operations and procedures as a safeguard to ensuring member data privacy in an effort to avoid all that comes with a data breach,” said Brown.

Black Book gaged a collective 92% “very concerned” response potential data breaches for health plan member data routinely transmitted offshore to India, the Philippines and Mexico. 61% reserved the same data security concerns for US-based outsourcing vendors.

The payer market place for claims modernization, big data/population health, security and analytics outsourcing services is projected to rise at a 39% compound annual growth rate, with most significant demand in the next twelve months from start-up health plans, provider-based plans, IPAs, and medium sized insurers.

In contrast, a 12% CAGR predicted for infrastructure and cloud services, and 9% CAGR for applications development and maintenance initiatives, attributed principally to renewals and new contracts from large health plan organizations.

Black Book estimates the demands of data security, population health, value based benefits solutions and revenue cycle modernization to drive the evolving payer ITO market in excess of US$60B by Q4 2017.

Top vendors were honored by clients in four payer ITO service categories for outstanding health plan performances across eighteen key performance indicators through Q1 2015. These top rated vendors include:

Transformational Outsourcing (IO, BPO, AO and Procurement Technology) – Accenture

Infrastructure Outsourcing & Cloud Services – Hewlett Packard

Applications Development and Maintenance Outsourcing - Dell

Business Intelligence, Data Warehousing, Big Data, Analytics Outsourcing – IBM Global

Financial & Professional IT Systems Outsourcing – CGI

Other vendors, rated highly in particular areas of performance include: CSC, DST Global, Fujitsu, General Dynamics, HCL, Hexaware, Hewlett Packard, Infosys, Optum, Syntel, Tata Consultancy Services, Virtusa, Wipro and Xerox.

About Black Book ™

Black Book Rankings, a division of Black Book Market Research LLC, provides healthcare IT users, media, investors, analysts, quality minded vendors, and prospective software system buyers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and other interested sectors of the clinical technology industry with comprehensive comparison data of the industry's top respected and competitively performing technology vendors. The largest user opinion poll of its kind in healthcare IT, Black Book™ collects over 450,000 viewpoints on information technology and outsourced services vendor performance annually. Black Book was founded in 2000, is internationally recognized for over 15 years of customer satisfaction polling, particularly in technology, services, outsourcing and offshoring industries.

Black Book™, its founders, management and/or staff do not own or hold any financial interest in any of the vendors covered and encompassed in this survey, and Black Book reports the results of the collected satisfaction and client experience rankings in publication and to media prior to vendor notification of rating results.

Follow Black Book on Twitter at For methodology, auditing, resources, comprehensive research and ranking data, see

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Douglas Brown (Tampa FL)

Taylor Brown (Raleigh NC)
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