Magazine article Medical Economics

Physicians, Ehr Vendors Struggle with Meaningful Use 2, Data Shows

Magazine article Medical Economics

Physicians, Ehr Vendors Struggle with Meaningful Use 2, Data Shows

Article excerpt

Only a small number of physicians and hospitals have attested to Meaningful Use stage 2 (MU2) months into the reporting year, according to data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), calling into question the ability of electronic health record (EHR) vendors to provide physicians with the upgrades to their systems in time.

ONLY 50 eligible professionals (EPs) have attested to MU2 in the current reporting year, which began on January 1,2014. For hospitals, only four facilities have attested to MU2 seven months into the reporting year, which began on October 1,2013.

Physicians and hospitals that can't attest to MU2 or do not receive a hardship exemption will receive Medicare reimbursement penalties.

Vender struggles

MU2 requires greater interoperability between EHR systems and is intended to boost health information exchange between providers and promote patient engagement by providing patients with secure online access to their health information.

But EHR vendors have struggled with certifying to the 2014 edition necessary forMU2.The total number of vendors offering a complete EHR system with 2014 certification reached 97 as of mid-April 2014, according to data from The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

CMS data, presented recently to the Health Information Technology Policy Committee, shows that 17% of EPs use software that has not been certified to the "2014 edition," a necessity to complete MU2 requirements.

These providers will either have to wait for vendor upgrades or switch to another EHR system to attest to MU2. …

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