ONC: 15% of Stage 2-Eligible Professionals Attest to Meaningful Use

February 6, 2015 in News

Just 15% of meaningful use Stage 2-eligible professionals have attested to the program’s requirements, according to the latest data from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, Becker’s Health IT CIO Review reports (Jayanthi, Becker’s Health IT CIO Review, 2/4).

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

Attestation Details

The data show that 42% of eligible professionals were Stage 2-eligible in 2014. Of the 15% of Stage 2-eligible professionals who attested, 47% attested to Stage 1 via CMS’ flexibility rule (Gold et al. “Morning eHealth,” Politico, 1/28).

Meanwhile, the data show 88% of Stage 2-eligble hospitals or critical access hospitals have attested to meaningful use. Of those, 75% attested to Stage 2, while 25% attested to Stage 1 under CMS’ flexibility rule (ONC data, 1/27). 

Attestation Details by RECs

ONC also released meaningful use attestation data for eligible professionals and hospitals receiving assistance from regional extension centers, EHR Intelligence reports (Bresnick, EHR Intelligence, 2/5).

The stimulus package’s HITECH Act provided about $688 million in federal funding to create 62 RECs to assist providers with meeting meaningful use criteria. According to ONC, the REC network includes:

  • 83% of all community health centers;
  • 80% of critical access hospitals;
  • 54% of rural providers;
  • 44% of primary care providers; and
  • More than 13,000 specialists (iHealthBeat, 9/18/14).

Overall, the data show as of December 2014, 93% of all REC-enrolled physicians are live on EHRs and more than 73% of all REC-enrolled physicians had attested to meaningful use (ONC Health IT Quick Stat, January 2014).

REC-enrolled specialists with the highest percentage of meaningful use attestations were:

  • Internal medicine, at 80%;
  • General/family practice, at 78%;
  • Primary care physicians, at 75%
  • Geriatrics, at 75%;
  • Obstetrics/gynecology, at 71%; and
  • Pediatrics/adolescent medicine, at 66% (Becker’s Health IT CIO Review, 2/4).

Meanwhile, the data also show that:

  • 100% of REC-enrolled comprehensive primary care initiative sites were live on EHRs and that about 80% had attested to meaningful use; and
  • About 90% of REC-enrolled critical access hospitals were live on EHRs, and that more than 50% had attested to meaningful use.

In addition, ONC estimated that on average 83% of REC-enrolled CAHs and rural hospitals across the U.S. had attested to meaningful use, with the percentage of such hospitals attesting varying widely by state. For example:

  • 100% of REC-enrolled CAHs and rural hospitals had attested to meaningful use in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Mississippi, North Carolina and Vermont;
  • 50% had attested in Washington; and
  • 12% had attested in Hawaii, the lowest attestation rate among such providers (EHR Intelligence, 2/5).
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