Income injection or headache-causing hassle?
U.S. health-care reforms could mean big opportunities but also more complications for local companies
It’s often stated the U.S. market is considerably larger than Canada’s, and that its proximity makes it an obvious focus for Ottawa firms – sometimes even more so than the Canadian market.
That’s especially true for many local technology companies, of course. And with the current rumblings of major reforms for the U.S. health-care system, some firms in the National Capital Region are gearing up to take advantage.
“( The U.S.) is trying to mirror the goodness of the Canadian health-care system … and with the emphasis on homeland spending, there will be a focus on U.S. and Canadian leads for sure,” says Gary Hannah, CEO of Vocantas Inc., which provides interactive automated telephone systems that follow up on patients at home.
Vocantas’s presence in the U.S. is still very small: it currently has two systems currently installed in the country, with six beta sites focused on home health care for geriatric patients in the Illinois and Utah areas.
But Mr. Hannah estimates it could be a large haul if local companies can reach the massive market south of the border.
Also vice-chair of OCRI, Mr. Hannah says Ottawa-based research is a player in the push to revamp the U.S. system. Special emphasis has been placed on technology such as Vocantas’s that purport to help health-care providers save money, he adds.