EP Medicaid Meaningful Use Registrations Exceed Projections

April 8, 2015 in News

The total number of eligible professionals who have registered for the meaningful use program has exceeded initial expectations, in large part because of an increase in Medicaid registrants, according to new data from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, 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 (Slabodkin, Health Data Management, 4/8).

Registration Details

During a Health IT Policy Committee meeting on Tuesday, Dawn Heisey-Grove of ONC noted that the meaningful use Stage 2 rule published in 2012 projected that 538,000 EPs would register for the programs. However, as of February, registration for both the Medicare and Medicaid programs had reached about 546,000 EPs.

Heisey-Grove said that most of the increase can be attributed to the Medicaid program in which about 176,000 EPs have registered, surpassing the original projection of about 145,000 registrants (Walsh, Clinical Innovation Technology, 4/8).

Meanwhile, the data show that about 369,000 EPs have registered with the Medicare meaningful use program, below the 393,000 who were expected to enroll.

Attestation Details

According to the data, EPs in the Medicare program have higher rates of attestation, compared with the Medicaid program.

For example, Heisey-Grove said that:

  • 86% of EPs in the Medicare program have attested; and
  • 32% of EPs in the Medicaid program have attested (Health Data Management, 4/8).

In addition, just 8% of Medicaid EPs were scheduled to attest to Stage 2 in 2014, compared with 56% of Medicare EPs (ONC data, 4/7).

Further, the data show about 90% of all EPs scheduled to attest to Stage 2 in 2014 were in the Medicare program (Health Data Management, 4/8).

ONC Details Proposed Certification Rule

In related news, ONC on Tuesday also said that its proposed rule on health IT certification aims to expand beyond EHRs and the meaningful use program, FierceEMR reports.

According to FierceEMR, the proposed rule would broaden ONC’s certification beyond “EHR modules” to include a more general “[health IT] module” definition to support providers that use non-EHR health IT tools.

In addition, the rule considers expanding access to certification to include providers not in the meaningful use program.

Jodi Daniel, director of policy and planning at ONC, in a presentation to Health IT Policy Committee members said that the agency’s authority to develop certification criteria was not limited to EHRs and the meaningful use program. She noted that ONC has been working with legal counsel to ensure “we’re not overstepping our bounds.”

ONC is accepting comments on the proposed rule until May 29.

Daniel noted, “This is new territory for us, and [we] welcome comment” (Durben Hirsch, FierceEMR, 4/7).

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