CMS: Meaningful Use Stage 2 Attestation Increasing Slowly

June 11, 2014 in News

Stage 2 meaningful use attestation among eligible hospitals and providers has increased slightly over the past month, according to CMS, Health Data Management reports.

Under the 2009 economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health records can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.

Background

The update follows last month’s announcement by CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT to propose giving providers an additional year to upgrade EHR systems to meet reporting requirements for Stage 2 of the meaningful use program (Slabodkin, Health Data Management, 6/11).

The agencies noted that the proposed timeline change came in response to stakeholder feedback about needing more flexibility. The proposed rule acknowledges that many software vendors have had difficulty upgrading their EHR products, receiving certification and upgrading customers’ systems in time to attest to the meaningful use program.

The proposed rule would change:

  • The meaningful use timeline;
  • The definition of certified EHR technology; and
  • Requirements for the reporting of clinical quality measures for 2014 (iHealthBeat, 5/22).

Attestation Figures

On Tuesday, a CMS official told Health IT Policy Committee members that:

  • Eight eligible hospitals have attested to Stage 2 of the meaningful use program, up from four last month; and
  • 447 eligible professionals have attested to State 2 of the meaningful use program, up from 50 last month (Health Data Management, 6/11).

Incentive Payments

CMS official Elisabeth Meyers also told committee members that as of the end of May, the EHR incentive programs have paid out:

  • About $15.9 billion to the Medicare portions of the programs; and
  • About $8.1 billion to the Medicaid portions of the programs (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 6/10).

Overall, CMS told committee members that:

  • 91% of eligible providers have received an EHR incentive payment to date for either meaningful use or Medicaid Adopt, Implement and Upgrade; and
  • 88% of eligible professionals have registered for the Medicare or Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs (Health Data Management, 6/11).

Other Updates

During the meeting, ONC also provided an update on the meaningful use program from 2011 to 2013.

Jennifer King — acting director of ONC’s Office of Economic Analysis, Evaluation and Modeling — told committee members that:

  • 59% of eligible providers have received Stage 1 meaningful use incentives;
  • 17% of eligible providers have registered for the program but have yet to receive incentives;
  • 15% of eligible providers have received AIU incentives only; and
  • 5% of eligible providers have enrolled in a regional extension facility but have yet to move forward.

King also said that as of 2013, only 3% of eligible U.S. providers had not signed up to participate in the meaningful use program (Manos, Government Health IT, 6/10).

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