EHR cash paid off for adoption levels

CDC report highlights adoption progress
By Erin McCann
11:02 AM
Doc with money
The $28.1 billion carrot paid out to meaningful EHR adopters to date has spurred significant EHR adoption specifically among emergency and outpatient departments, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
A Feb. 19 report from the CDC that examined EHR data starting back in 2006 through 2011 – when hospitals started attesting to Stage 1 meaningful use – suggests the federal EHR incentive money, which started flowing in spring 2011, has done hospitals good in terms of getting them onboard with health IT adoption in the first year of the program. Using data from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, the CDC brief highlighted that in 2011, 84 percent of hospital EDs were using an EHR, compared with 46 percent in 2006. And some 73 percent of outpatient departments reported they were using them – this up from 29 percent back in 2006. 
Of course, the $28.1 billion in incentives paid out to hospitals and providers to date was far from the amount doled out by 2011's end. By February 2012, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reported they had paid out $3.1 billion to some 43,000 providers.
But not all progress was so significant. Stage 1 of meaningful use proved a difficult challenge for many hospitals. 
For instance, most EDs and outpatient departments, or OPDs, did not have EHR technology capable of supporting nine Stage 1 meaningful use objectives in 2011, with a paltry 14 percent of EDs able to do so and 16 percent of OPDs. Docs and hospitals reported the most success with recording patient demographics and the most challenge with providing reminders for guideline-based interventions.  
"In 2011, a limited number of EDs and OPDs had an EHR system that supported nine Stage 1 Meaningful Use objectives," report authors Eric Jamoon, CDC research scientists officer, and Esther Hing, CDC statistician, wrote in the report. 
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services most recent EHR Incentive Program report, some 514,051 eligible hospitals and professionals have participated and been paid in the federal Meaningful Use EHR Incentive Program to date. For 2014 attestation data through Feb. 1, nearly 28,000 eligible providers attested for 2015. Only about 30 percent of those were Stage 2 attesters. For hospitals, 1,815 hospitals have attested to Stage 2. 
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