AHRQ to tackle EHR barriers Medicaid providers face

By Mary Mosquera
03:31 PM

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality plans to survey 300 clinicians to identify and understand the barriers that Medicaid providers encounter in deploying and becoming meaningful users of electronic health records (EHRs).

Once the data is collected, AHRQ will develop technical assistance and support for putting EHR systems into operation in provider practices or upgrading existing systems. The project will run over two years, according to an announcement in the June 3 Federal Register.

Furthermore, the information from the focus groups will also inform the development of stage 2 and 3 of meaningful use criteria.

[Related: Will delaying stage 2 meaningful use ignite ICD-10?]

The agency will also separate up to 89 of the clinicians into 13 focus groups based on whether they have adopted an EHR and those who have not and one group of private practice dentists. AHRQ will also consider factors in their decision to adopt EHRs or not.

RTI International, an AHRQ vendor and healthcare research provider, is performing the study to come up with recommendations on the activities that will most effectively help Medicaid providers to meet the meaningful use requirements, qualify for incentives “and ultimately use health IT to improve health care for the Medicaid population,” AHRQ said.

AHRQ is accepting public comment about the project until July 5.