Is ARRA a Carpetbagger Opportunity?

The term carpetbagger was once used to describe the white northern politicians who went to the South after the Civil War. Many of them arrived carrying cheap carpet bags as luggage, hence the term. Southerners considered these people ready to loot and plunder. 

Today we may be looking at modern-day IT carpetbaggers with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. Simply ignore the geographic context of the South and replace the word politician with opportunist

The Potential for Healthcare IT Carpetbaggers

There is money set to flow into the provider community based on meeting certain healthcare IT thresholds. However, the stimulus money may end up in carpetbaggers’ pockets. More specifically, the haste to be ready for ARRA stimulus dollars could produce IT carpetbaggers that promise much, get paid millions, and deliver little. 

In contrast to consultants and software products that do deliver at a reasonable cost, this group will have little interest in real customer success or long-term satisfaction. They will arrive with big promises, short resumes, and early payment plans. 

How Can KLAS Help?

You and I both see the danger. So what can be done to minimize or eliminate the risk of ARRA IT carpetbaggers?

KLAS, as always, will be measuring the performance of the key players delivering software and services. But our traditional research may come too late for those that feel threatened by the short fuse and have little experience in making such purchases. Some providers may feel exposed and at risk by not having the resources or time to really consider viable options. These providers may jump at options that look real on the surface but are not. New entrants may actually be good options, but with no track record it will be hard to tell. 

Here’s where we need you as providers to tell us what will help most. We are looking for ideas while we continue to speed up the measurement of vendors across the board. KLAS will be opening some community space where we can all share concurrent experience with some of the new entrants. That is one component that might help. 

What are some other ideas? I would love to hear your feedback.