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Hospital Executives in US and Europe Expect Investment and Spending to Increase as Economies Improve

Concerns Remain About Budget Cuts, Rising Labor Costs

NEW YORK, Oct. 13, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ITG Market Research today released the results of a new global survey of hospital executives in the US, France, Germany, the UK, Japan, and Korea that highlights positive trends as well as looming challenges facing the global hospital industry.

On the positive side, improving economies in Europe and the US and higher patient volumes are buoying the confidence of hospital executives in these regions. "The primary indicators are positive," said Graeme Christianson, Director of Healthcare Market Research at ITG. "We typically see hospital investment rise along with economic growth and higher patient volumes, and executives in both the EU and the US are optimistic that macroeconomic conditions and patient volumes will improve over the next year."

In addition, hospital executives in Europe and the US are reporting lower levels of uncertainty about the hospital industry, as well as the overall economy. "We've seen a significant drop in the percentage of US hospital executives reporting high levels of concern regarding the Affordable Care Act over the past year and half. Some executives are clearly coming to terms with how the overhaul will affect their business," said Christianson. Furthermore, improving economic conditions in the EU and the US are motivating hospitals to push through previously delayed spending on capital equipment and other longer-term investments. 

At the same time, hospitals in global markets are facing significant headwinds, and economic uncertainty continues to constrain investment in Asia. In Japan and Korea, mixed economic performance in the first half of 2014 sapped executive confidence, and a recent trend towards lower patient volumes is adding to their uncertainty. Consequently, most hospital executives in Japan and Korea expect to spend less over the next 12 months on new infrastructure and capital equipment. 

In Europe and the US, on the other hand, executives are primarily concerned about remaining profitable and maintaining quality standards despite a steady stream of reimbursement and budget cuts. In these regions, lower margins are forcing many hospitals and health systems to maintain a cost cutting mindset and to prioritize investment in specific areas, such as cardiology, radiology / imaging, and orthopedics. Finally, executives in all markets are struggling with higher labor costs, as rising salaries, pensions, and benefits for physicians and staff consume a growing share of hospitals' budgets.

Additional topics in the new ITG Market Research report include brand-level purchasing for robotic surgery equipment, large capital equipment, and a variety of cardiovascular, orthopaedic, and spine implants. The report also introduces ITG's Global Hospital Executive Confidence Index, tracks deployment of supply chain management strategies such as vendor consolidation and market-share discounting, and also provides insight into how current trends are affecting executives' investment and purchasing plans.

About GLOBAL HOSPITAL EXECUTIVES

ITG's GLOBAL HOSPITAL EXECUTIVES is a syndicated report series based on a biannual survey of 230 executives currently employed by hospitals and hospital systems in Asia (Japan, Korea), Europe (France, Germany, United Kingdom), and the United States. 

In 2011, ITG Market Research initiated a survey of hospital executives in the United States in response to the growing role of C-Suite Administrators (CEOs, COOs, CFOs, CMOs, CIOs, etc.) and Purchasing / Contracting Executives in decision-making for capital equipment and medical device purchasing for hospitals and health systems. Expanding this successful report series to include Asia and Europe, these reports provide timely insights and forward-looking projections to support decision-making regarding the impact of new products, changing economic conditions, financial pressures, regulatory constraints, managed care policies, and governmental regulations on global hospital purchasing plans and market dynamics.

About ITG Market Research

ITG Market Research is the primary market research offering of ITG (NYSE:ITG), an independent global agency brokerage firm. ITG's differentiated research platform is based upon leveraging large amounts of statistically relevant, real-time data.

ITG Market Research delivers high quality healthcare market intelligence quickly - combining survey results with empirical data to deliver innovative syndicated and custom reporting. Its cutting-edge market research capabilities enable us to provide clients with the insights and clarity they need to make informed business decisions.

To learn more about ITG Market Research's products and services, please contact Graeme Christianson at: 1.646.415.7774, graeme.christianson@itg.com, or visit: marketresearch.itg.com

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