Stage 2 MU attestations make progress

By Tom Sullivan
09:45 AM
1,898 eligible providers, 78 eligible hospitals so far
Doctor and patient with EHR

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reported a new batch of meaningful use attestation numbers on Wednesday, showing a modest improvement over the disappointing rates that were reported in July.

[See also: Stage 2 MU: A bridge too far?]

The percentages of eligible providers and eligible hospitals that have successfully attested to Stage 2 of meaningful use are still small — while CMS continues moving ever closer to 100 percent registration.

The real indicator of meaningful use progress, of course, is the attestation rates. And as of July's end, 1,898 EPs and 78 EHs attested to Stage 2.

[See also: CMS reports paltry numbers for Stage 2]

When CMS reported the EPs and EHs who had attested as of June's end, it's worth noting, those numbers were 972 and 10, respectively. Depending on one's perspective, June's status was either merely paltry or downright foreboding of a disastrous Stage 2.

July's slight uptick is somewhat encouraging – though when presenting the results Elisabeth Myers of CMS' office of e-health standards and services was brief and neither suggested that they are cause for celebration nor hinted that CMS foresees any attrition from the program in the coming months.

Myers used the meeting, however, to spotlight the progress CMS and has made in getting EPs and EHs to register for the program.

"We are hovering just under 95 percent," Myers said of eligible hospitals and "just under 92 percent" of eligible providers.

"I do want to point out this is registration and registration is required to participate, so many providers register their intent and it may take them a little longer to get to meaningful use," Myers explained. "But it's a great indicator of the depth of knowledge about the [meaningful use] program."

Whether physicians and medical groups knowing about meaningful use means the Stage 2 attestation rates will continue inching upward, well, that has yet to unfold.

Will you drop out during Stage 2? Or keep moving forward and see whether Stage 3 is worth it?